Energy efficiency strategies reduce the cost of doing business and improve profitability.
For many, cold weather can mean a spike in energy bills. As the temperature decreases and days grow shorter, natural gas and lighting usage increases. And whether you’re the owner or lessee, you pay for the energy used in your building. For many, higher energy bills mean less money to invest in the business. But unlike many business expenses, energy costs can be controlled. So don’t sit on the bench. Get in the game and prepare for what winter brings your way.
Keep vents open and clear
Keeping HVAC registers flowing freely can help you save year-round. Inspect all registers to ensure they’re open and unobstructed. Blocked vents will cause the HVAC system to work harder than necessary, which can increase energy usage by as much as 25%.
Sealed ducts make for comfortable quarters
Do employees find it necessary to use space heaters during the winter months? If so, why? One reason might be that the HVAC system isn’t delivering heat properly. Leaky ductwork can reduce heating and cooling efficiency by as much as 20 to 30%. It’s common for ductwork to become damaged, loose or separated, unnecessarily heating crawlspaces or the space above ceiling tiles. Check for leaks, and make sure ducts are tightly connected from heater to diffuser.
Programmed to save you money
Install an ENERGY STAR®-certified programmable thermostat with a locking cover. Make sure your thermostat is programmed properly and is tamper-proof. Schedule on/off times, and adjust temperature settings according to your business’s routine. During the cold months, set thermostats at the lowest comfortable temperature setting when the building is occupied and 60 degrees when unoccupied. Reducing the temperature when your facility is unoccupied can save as much as 10% on your annual heating bills.
Let the sunshine in
The sun can help savvy business owners who want to lower their consumption of natural gas and electricity. Solar energy comes in the form of heat and light. It’s free, and using it not only reduces costs but can also improve office morale.
Simply open blinds, shades and curtains. Sunlight will reduce the need for artificial light, and south-facing windows will provide heat. For additional savings, consider daylight harvesting and other advanced lighting controls that can reduce energy usage by up to 60%. What’s more, the DTE lighting controls bonus can almost triple the cash value of the available incentive.
Real estate – real savings
Looking for office space? When searching for new quarters, consider leasing space in an energy efficient building. You know the obvious signs: newer windows and doors, an energy efficient HVAC system and LED lighting. The savings these upgrades offer are yours to keep and should be a deciding factor when choosing a location. Lower bills, a more comfortable environment, more productive employees and a smaller carbon footprint are your benefits.