Small Businesses Can Save Money By Becoming More Energy-Conscious

These days, many owners of independent companies all across the country are seeing higher costs for everything from rent to small business insurance. One way in which they may be able to save a little bit of money every month, and consequently improve their bottom lines, is by taking steps to reduce energy costs.

Electric bills can pile up extremely quickly for companies of any size, and as a result, many small business owners may be able to put themselves in a better position going forward by cutting back on power use in a number of ways, according to a report from the nonprofit small business education group SCORE. Everything from lights and equipment, including computers, can create a massive energy need, but even simple steps can significantly reduce the amount of power a company consumes every month.

For instance, turning off lights and computers when they're not being used can significantly cut these bills, and contrary to popular belief, a computer that goes into screen saver mode uses roughly the same amount of power as one that is being actively used, the report said. As such, making sure computers go to sleep mode when they're not being used instead can reduce these costs appreciably. It might also be wise for small business owners to invest in Energy Star-rated light bulbs, which can use as much as 75 percent less energy than traditional incandescents, and also last about 10 times longer, for a slightly higher initial cost.

Moreover, many small businesses – and homes, for that matter – pay large amounts of money in energy bills every month due to what is known as "phantom" power use, the report said. For instance, when devices are off but left plugged in, they still use small amounts of energy which, over the course of a month and across an entire office, can add up quickly. For this reason, taking the time to unplug machines when they're not being used, or plugging them into power strips that can be turned on and off, may allow for far lower power bills in the future.

Small business owners looking to save money on everyday costs may also want to find more affordable coverage options such as liability insurance, which can help to significantly improve monthly bottom lines.