4 Ways Your Business Can Improve Energy Efficiency
There are many compelling reasons for actively improving energy efficiency in your business. Not only will you save money and resources, you’ll also have the distinction of promoting your company as environmentally friendly. Whether you’re interested in small changes or sweeping alterations, you’ll find many ways you can make your business more energy-efficient.
Upgrade Office Equipment
Go through the building and do a detailed energy audit to find out where your electricity is going. Machines should always be off when not in use. If the copier is only accessed once a day, there’s no reason to keep it running from 9 to 5. Instruct all employees to turn off computers and other electronics when they leave for the day.
For even better energy efficiency, plug computers into power strips and turn these off as well. Many appliances leech energy even when they’re off. Invest in Energy Star appliances when possible.
Improve your Facilities
Simple changes that are as small as adding weather-stripping to windows and doors or installing motion sensors on lighting in little-used areas can have a big impact on your energy usage, especially in a large building. Don’t waste energy lighting an entire warehouse if most of it sits unused throughout the day.
Install fans to circulate air and cut the need for heating and air conditioning. The air circulation not only will regulate the temperature, it also helps to manage humidity. Solar films or screens will also help cool down your building in the warmer months.
Change Your Business Practices
The way you do business could result in an unnecessary drain on energy that you aren’t recognizing. Check with your electricity service provider for energy usage and how you may improve efficiency. Take a closer look at every area of the business that uses some form of electricity.
Are you in the habit of printing long reports to go over in meetings, even though most of them go unread? Switch to PDFs instead and give the printer a break. Are your refrigeration units your biggest energy drain? Look for ways to work that allow you to open the door less.
Take Advantage of Tax Credits
If you’re struggling to find the funds for energy improvements, focus on those that come with generous tax credits. Commercial buildings are eligible for tax credits when you make eligible improvements to heating and cooling, lighting, ventilation, and hot water systems.
Manufacturers can receive tax credits for using energy-efficient appliances like refrigeration units, dishwashers, or clothes washers. Many incentives will cover as much as 75 percent of the project costs and you can reduce energy usage by up to 20 percent. Read through the requirements for these credits carefully to make sure your project will qualify.
Improving the energy efficiency of your business is easier than you may have thought. The results of many projects will cut your energy usage significantly, lowering your overall operational costs. Take a closer look at your operations and see how many places you can find to cut energy usage today.
Article by Jake Fisher.
photo: Tim Dorr.
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