If you’re a small business owner, then you absolutely know how important saving money is. In most cases, people seek to save by cutting real estate costs, office supply expenses, and IT support. Another means, however, is decreasing your utility charges by energy management.
In Australia, small businesses spend over $10 billion per year on energy. So, if reducing that expense is not in your plans, then it should be. Without reducing costs, your business is likely to struggle to maintain healthy and uniform profits. Here’s a list of power-plays that will help you to decrease your energy expenses and increase your overall possibilities of success, starting today.
1. Let Your Employees Work From Home
You may think that telecommuting only benefits staff members and not the overall business. Still, it can have a significant effect on your expenses. By reducing the number of employees that have to show up every day, you can decrease PC usage. You also save on electricity and HVAC costs, and reduce dependence on office equipment and break room appliances. By utilizing virtual workspaces like Slack, you can maintain the office connection and camaraderie, and still, keep up productivity.
2. Get a Business Energy Audit
Connect with your electricity providers and see if they offer business energy audits. Engage with them like a peer, since the arrangement is business to business, and you should always be marketing yourself and your brand. Compare electricity providers with iSelect to make sure you work with the best people for your business.
As for the audit, some providers do them for free. Nonetheless, even if you have to pay a charge, it’s still worth the investment for energy efficiency. Make an appointment to find out the content of the representative’s report, and institute the recommendations. This way, your energy provider does the work, and you pocket the savings.
3. Micro-Manage Your Thermostat
It’s a must that you start paying better attention to your thermostat or possibly have a programmable one installed. If your representatives take to changing the temperature of their own, you may want to install plastic covers so they’re not blasting the air conditioning at will. Consider setting it at a temperature that’s comfortable for your customers, and always consider setbacks during non-business hours, which can reduce heating/cooling costs by 20 to 30 percent or more.
4. Reduce the Number of Printers
If every laptop or PC in your office has a separate printer, you’re wasting valuable energy and paying the price as a result. Consider installing one printer that’s linked to every device remotely, and you can save significant money on your energy expenses.
5. Power Down Laptops and PCs at Night
It’s both easy and extremely costly to leave your computer systems on all night. Reports abroad are staggering and not much better at home. Sunpower has some great insights on saving energy on small business operations. Encourage your staff to turn their computers off, and have the first person who arrives at work each morning click them on. That way, your team can still get off to a quick start every day, and you’ve saved yourself some money (about $28 per computer per year).
6. Start a Recycling Program
A recycling program is a great way to cut costs as well as help out the environment. It also builds camaraderie in the workspace around a cause which is great for team building. If team building is something you’d like to enhance in your office, adult golf clinics are great for just that. As for your recycling program, check with your local recycling companies for options. Cut down on the amount of trash your business generates and you might be able to switch to a smaller (and cheaper) dumpster and reduce the number of pick-up days. At the very least, start using both sides of printer paper for all non-essential documents, and you can cut your paper costs almost in half.