How to Make your Business Energy-Efficient

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Business accounts for 18% of total US energy use with heating and cooling consuming a whopping 36% of electricity energy use. US Energy Information Administration predicts heating oil, electricity, and natural gas will cost 2% to 10% more this winter. Want to increase your profits, advertise your customers that you are hip, and help the environment?

Your Energy Bill arrives and it is way to high. You can start by asking your energy provider to check your meters accuracy, but you will have to do detective work to really save money. Our local utility, PG&E, just announced another energy rate increase. You can go green and save money by following our energy saving tips. This is an overview of the many energy saving tips we have covered over the years along with links to detailed articles.

One of the keys is to have all your employees on board with your energy efficiency goals. They can provide a lot of useful input and need to cooperate with any changes.

Energy Monitoring to Determine Usage

How can you save energy without knowing you have reduced usage? The Kill a watt or Killawatt is a low cost energy meter that can show you how much energy your appliances use. For serious energy savers, the TED 5000 Energy monitor also helps to measure energy use. Power company Wireless Smart Meters extended this capability to more folks.

Also contact your local electric utility and see if there are any special our plans that you can opt into. Many power utilities offer discounts to companies who can lower electricity use

Federal Energy Efficiency Tax Credit

Be sure to also take advantage of the Federal Energy Efficiency Tax Credit. This Federal tax credit can save you money in addition to your utility companies’ promotions. It applies to many items including: Wind Turbines – GeoThermal Heat PumpSolar panels. Consult your accountant to determine whether your business qualifies for these Federal Tax Credits.

Heating & Cooling

Personal heaters waste a lot of energy, take a poll and adjust air conditioning and heating to comfortable levels. Asked people to where sweaters. Window treatments and Window UV Films help prevent heat loss and buildup. Get an energy audit and HVAC audit to help find your hidden problems. They use blowers that will detect areas causing heat loss. Consider allowing Windows, skylights, and door transoms to become operational again. Replace outdated thermostats with new ones that allow dead bands or temperature readings (say 68 to 75°) were no HVAC system kicks in. Install variable speed fans that have a variety of speeds and energy savings modes, not just on or off. Sure there are fans in a variety of zones in each area.

Lighting

Install timers and occupancy sensors, so that lights are shut off when everyone has gone home. Switch to Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs or CFLs to save a bundle. Even more efficient LED Lighting is coming on strong. If possible, install skylights, eliminate overhead fixtures near windows, and lower cubicle walls, so that light can flow more readily.

Light up for the holidays with Eco Friendly Holiday Lighting – LED Holiday Lights

Appliances

Refrigerators and washing machines / clothes dryers use the most power in most homes. Consolidate any personal refrigerators or coffee makers. Reduce Refrigerator Energy Use by setting them correctly. It may make sense to replace appliances that have seen better days with new energy efficient ones. Your local energy utility may even have rebates available.

Computers

We have seen far too many computers left on overnight, wasting a ton of power. Ask your workers and to shut down or sleep their computers when they’re not being used. Set your Mac – PC to sleep or hibernate after of inactivity. There are tutorials on how to do this and free software. Use a smart power strip as wall warts draw power even when nothing is on. No need to buy a new PC or operating system to save power. Also consider installing a Digital Timer to control the smart power strip. These work well with your Cable/DSL modem, router, and wireless networking equipment.

For Notebooks and Cell phones: Extend Battery Life, Laptop Battery Life, iPhone Battery Life

TVs

People are realizing their TVs eat a ton of power. California’s CEC is proposing new power rules for TVs. When purchasing, try to buy a green LCD TV. You can optimize your TV set’s power use by making sure all energy saving options are on and that the picture is not set to the energy draining “Torch mode” setting used in stores to show off the brightest of pictures. Also use a smart power strip as wall warts draw power even when nothing is on.

Water

California has been in an extended drought for several years. Mandatory cutbacks are in effect. Water rates are sky rocketing. Save water in your bathroom and kitchen. Dual flush toilets and low water use urinals can save a lot of money and water.

Solar

It is a great time to go solar. The Federal 30% Tax Credit is now uncapped. Panels are more efficient than ever. A solar system can pay itself back in 7-10 years. There are no money down leasing options that drop your monthly bill and require no large initial outlay. Solar Panels require a little Maintenance and cleaning.

Green Business Map

Support green businesses. The environmental Defense Fund has maps showing where Green businesses are located. Green business, energy generation, energy efficiency, and transportation are criteria they examined. It covers 14 states. California has its own page.

Eco Friendly Promotional Apparel and Business Logo Merchandise

Eco Imprints sells eco friendly promotional products and apparel. Lots of recycled content, sustainable wood, etc. used in their products. Let’s hope the rest of the swag industry gets more green.

We hope you enjoyed the numerous energy saving tips we have listed above. With a little bit of work, you can save energy, become more green, while saving money.

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