Small business owners may find themselves constantly searching for ways to pinch pennies, but dissolving commercial insurance policies or cutting back on small business liability insurance could become a major issue should your company be struck by a natural disaster or suffer from another type of loss. One way you can eliminate your regular cost of running and maintaining your small business is to make green changes, lowering your monthly utilities and making your property more valuable.
When it comes to lighting – you may want to have a funky or modern design in your work space, however, you should avoid having too many individual fixtures that will drain energy. Another small step that can make a big difference is switching out incandescent light bulbs with fluorescent ones. While these may initially cost more to purchase, they last longer and use less energy over time, which will help reduce your energy bill. If your office has a lot of natural light, you may want to opt to open window blinds and shades to let it in, this can also provide your employees’ eyes a nice break from intense light, especially if they work on computers all day. If you run on regular business hours, you may be able to install timers that can turn lights off automatically, while practicing the habit of turning off lights in other parts of your office including the break room and bathrooms will also contribute to lower utility bills.
If you have a water heater on site, be sure to set it to the lowest required temperature, as this can be the biggest energy hog in your work place. To ensure you are all using less when in the office, you can install aerators to faucets and invest in a more efficient shower head if you have a shower in the office. Hot water tanks, heaters and piping should also be insulated for a more efficient work place. Additionally, when leaks are noticed, it is important to fix them immediately to avoid continuous running water and pricier bills.
Many small businesses have kitchenettes or dining rooms so that employees can bring in and prepare their own meals rather than eating out. The kitchen can be an area that uses up a lot of energy as multiple appliances are often turned on or left plugged in. Keeping up with regular maintenance on larger items, such as the refrigerator, will keep it lasting longer and ensure it is operating properly. You should also make rules for usage of all appliances, and advise your employees to unplug or power off things in the kitchen when they aren’t in use.
There has previously been a lot of debate surrounding whether or not it is best to turn off office equipment or leave it run when looking to save energy, but any use of energy will add up over time. When just starting out , it may be worth the extra costs associated with buying energy efficient models for computers and other office equipment. Maintenance plays an important part in keeping equipment working properly and at full capacity – but this should always be completed by a professional or your company’s IT.
Another system in your office that should be regularly checked is the heating and cooling unit. Remember that filters will need to be replaced or cleaned, while your HVAC system will also need an inspection before major seasonal changes. Doing this ahead of time can eliminate the chance of having to wait for service when it is needed most, and you could even get a deal on repairs or inspections in the off season. When trying to cut back on monthly expenses regarding energy, it may be worth the investment of buying a programmable thermostat to monitor the temperature in the office. You should also have office rules of who is able to alter the program or adjust the temperature. When shopping for a new HVAC system you can seek out one that has a better Energy Star rating.