Why are business energy prices rising and what can you do?
Business energy prices have been on the rise over the past several years, and there are a few reasons for this. From a “perfect storm” of bad news to the aging infrastructure, there are a number of factors that have contributed to this ongoing trend. However, if you own a business or manage an office, there are a few things that you can do to cut down on energy costs without compromising any of your employees’ comfort levels.
1. Explore your options
Your electricity provider is not the only company that can provide you with energy. If you’re looking to save money on your business energy prices, it’s important to compare business energy prices and explore all of your options. Talk to other providers in your area and see what kind of deals they can offer you. You may be able to get a better rate by switching providers. Even if the one you’re currently using was offering the best deal, it’s possible that things have changed since you first started using their service. Different companies handle tough times differently, and there’s been a lot of upheaval in the energy market over the past few years. When choosing your provider, besides looking at the nominal figure, it’s also important to look at what kind of perks and add-ons come with the plan, how long the contract is, and what the cancellation fees are.
2. Energy-efficient equipment
The equipment you use in your office is another factor that can contribute to cost increases. For example, if you have an older copier or fax machine, there are newer models that will work just as well without drawing the same amount of energy. Ditto for printers and computers. Instead of sticking with your current machines, consider getting upgraded models that will use less power and save you money in the long run. While this does require an upfront investment that isn’t insignificant, the long-term benefits may outweigh the short-term cost. Just like cars are designed to run more efficiently than they did 10 or 20 years ago, so too are office machines. As an added bonus, a modern computer or copy machine will likely increase productivity among your employees, because it will be faster and easier to use.
3. Unplug and make adjustments
Did you know that most appliances and devices still use electricity even when they’re turned off? Although this typically doesn’t amount to a lot of energy usage, if you have a large number of devices in your office that are plugged into one outlet, it can add up over time. It’s a good idea to use smart strips or have an electrician install extra outlets so that you can keep your appliances plugged in without wasting energy. Making sure all the lights are turned off when they’re not in use is another easy way to save energy and money. You could also reconsider the floor space. Are there areas in your office that are rarely used? If so, you may want to consider shutting those down and consolidating employees into other, more active areas.
4. Reconsider your office lighting
Lighting is another easy way to cut down on energy usage without compromising the comfort of your employees. While they do need some light to work comfortably, most businesses tend to have far more lighting than is actually necessary. If you are able to make simple changes in how your office is lit, you’ll likely see a reduction in your monthly business energy prices. Consider installing dimmers in areas where less light is needed. Additionally, the kind of lightbulbs you use in your office could make a difference. Incandescent lights tend to use more energy than other types of bulbs, while LED lights are the most efficient. That’s because they don’t heat up like incandescent bulbs which means they don’t need to use as much energy to produce light.
5. Reprogram your thermostats
Depending on where you are in the country, your office thermostat may be set to a temperature that’s warmer or cooler than is necessary. Although it can feel nice, this actually forces your HVAC system to work harder and use more energy than necessary. More than that though, it may be working necessarily all the time. You might want to check and see if you can adjust the thermostat and make it more efficient. By ensuring your HVAC system is only on during work hours, you can save energy and potentially cut down on your monthly business energy prices. Of course, depending on how hot or cold it gets where you are, you might want to set it so that it turns on an hour before employees come in and shuts off an hour after they leave – just in case anyone needs to stay longer to finish something.
While these were some practical tips, the best way to save money on your business energy prices is to be as informed as possible about what’s happening in the market. Keep up with the news and understand how changes in the market can impact your bottom line. That way, you’ll be in a good position to make the most informed decisions about your energy usage.