Managing the energy consumption of your business can be a tricky balancing act when you’re not sure where your usage originates.
No matter what season it is, you may always end up using more energy than you intended. This can lead to frustrating increases in your energy bill during times when you’re desperately trying to cut back on your budget.
So what’s the answer to better managing your energy usage?
It’s time to create a smart strategy to examine how much energy your business actually uses during the course of the year. You may find a lot of energy sources around your business you didn’t realize you were using excessively. Everything from lighting to operations and maintenance draw on your energy bill, making an audit mandatory to find out where you can cut or save.
Let’s take a look at some possible energy management strategies.
Doing an Audit and Turning Off What Isn’t Needed
It helps to pay for a professional audit of your company to see where your most energy consumption takes place. If you work in the manufacturing industry, the Small Business Administration notes you may find a lot that you need to turn off to cut your energy bills.
The SBA also cites equipment being left on despite not being used as a common concern for businesses. As part of your energy management policy, you can scope out some of this on your own with daily walk-throughs.
Doing this helps you create a shut-off list for specific things at the end of each work day. You may also find more things to shut down during holidays or other prolonged closures.
These energy drains can come from anything from lights left on to computers. The next step is to make your energy management a group effort with every employee involved to scope out issues.
Managing Employee Behavior
Employee awareness plays a big part in how much energy you consume in your business. If your company is made up of multiple departments, you may not realize how much energy they’re all using—and they may not know either.
The only way to make energy management work better is to hold meetings with all your employees to find out what they’re doing. It’s an opportunity to educate them on how to bring more energy efficiency by turning off equipment when not being used.
They also need awareness in doing other things to save energy like closing doors, especially on refrigeration units. Placing computers in sleep mode is another request they’ll need reminders on in every meeting.
Organizing ways to use Energy Star products is also essential, and you’ll find hundreds of items with this designation.
Checking Out Your Lighting Use
Once you have your employees involved in an energy management program, you’ll want them to start examining areas around your company where you’re consuming too much energy. Lighting is one of the biggest culprits, especially in LED signs, or any internal lighting systems with electronic ballasts.
Switching from incandescent bulbs to LED bulbs saves you considerably on energy use, though it’s better to turn off as many lights as possible at closing time.
We all know you have to keep some heating or cooling going at all times in a business, especially if you need to maintain a specific temperature. It’s not to say your HVAC system isn’t running overtime unnecessarily.
You’re better off investing in a programmable thermostat so you don’t use more heating or cooling than you really need. With the Internet of Things evolving quickly in HVAC units, you can finally bring better management and control to how you use energy overall.