As a small business owner, you are always trying to uncover opportunities to reduce costs and enhance the efficiency of your organization. And while there are various ways to achieve these goals, one of the most effective is to focus on improving your energy management.

Expenses attributed to electricity and gas can quickly add up. Fortunately, there are plenty of strategies you can use to exercise better control over the energy management of your small business. And, in doing so, not only will you be able to reduce costs, but your carbon footprint as well.

1. Change your light bulbs

Is your small business still using traditional incandescent lighting? If so, you’re missing out on a major opportunity to save money. Help your wallet (and the environment) by installing LED, or light-emitting diodes, bulbs instead. In case you need convincing on exactly how this can reduce costs, let’s take a look some what makes this energy-efficient lighting so different.

Still not convinced? The DOE also pointed out that if these bulbs become widely adopted, it is possible that it could result in over $30 billion in electricity savings as early as 2027.According to the United States Department of Energy, not only do these products consume 75 percent less energy, they also last significantly longer than their traditional counterparts. Up to 25 times longer, to be exact!

2. Upgrade your appliances

It’s entirely possible that you are using far more energy than necessary, even when you’re not in the office. One of the ways to combat excessive use of electricity is to invest in equipment that is designed to be more energy-efficient.

“Even seemingly minor adjustments can lead to significant cost-savings.”

There’s no reason to heat an environment when no one is occupying it, right? And let’s be honest: Having to manually turn the HVAC system on and off every time you enter or leave can be annoying, especially on the occasions when you forget. This is why one of the appliances you should make sure you upgrade is your thermostat.

Installing a programmable device will allow you to tailor the settings in a way that corresponds best with how your business operates. This may seem like a minor change to make, but it can lead to significant savings. In fact, according to Energy Star, using a pre-programmed thermostat can help small businesses reduce the annual cost of energy by about $180.

3. Switch to a fixed-rate plan

It’s important that you keep track of your small business utility bills and notice if there are any dramatic changes in the amount owed. If you see that there has been spike in what you’re paying from month to month, you might be wasting more money than necessary.

The costs of gas and electricity can be quite unpredictable. To reduce energy costs, avoid plans that leave you susceptible to the negative consequences of a highly volatile market. One of the best ways to avoid the ramifications of changing energy prices is to work with an electricity provider that offers fixed-rate plans. These are the type of rates that will stay locked in place throughout the lifespan of your contract agreement, so you don’t have to worry about surge in pricing due to fluctuations in demand.

You should feel confident knowing that there won’t be any surprises when your monthly electricity bill comes. By using a fixed-rate plan, you can be sure of the amount you’ll be paying every month.