With terms like "greening your business" and "social enterprise" or "corporate sustainability," it’s easy to see that adopting energy efficient practices is more popular than ever before. For businesses, the benefits are varied: At the least, you are likely to save money on energy bills. At the most, it could alter your expenses in a big way and allow you to take advantage of tax credits. But what really matters is that the changes work: Here are some of the most effective steps any business can take.
1. Add More Insulation: How is the insulation in your ceiling and walls? If you aren’t sure, this could be a big money-saver for your business. Installing new insulation can help prevent thermal energy transfer and keep your cooling costs way, way down. A roof insulation upgrade is probably the most affordable option for many companies, but don’t forget about other methods of insulating your place of work, including solar films placed over windows and weather-stripping along all windows and doors.
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2. Put in a Green Roof: A green roof may sound a little ridiculous at first, but it can make an incredible difference in how your business uses energy. A layer of green plants in the roofing system can act as insulation, help cool the building, and help you save still more on energy bills. The key is picking out tough grasses and groundcover that can survive with relatively little water. Also, a green roof offers great marketing possibilities if you want to focus on your green efforts in consumer-facing materials. Still have roof space left? Consider an energy-saving solar panel from Infiniteenergy.com.au
3. Automate Your Equipment: Equipment like ovens, refrigerators, lighting, and even computers can use a lot of unnecessary energy and electricity throughout the day. Automate your equipment to turn on and off by itself based on your business hours. Even better, carefully study customer demand and find out when you can cycle down throughout the day to save even more money while also increasing overall efficiency.
4. Change Your Lighting: Fluorescent lighting is much more efficient than incandescent lighting, but you may also want to consider switching over to LED bulbs when appropriate. LED lightings, while initially more expensive, use a fraction of the energy of other bulbs and can last much longer in optimal conditions. Even if you don’t want to switch bulbs, consider installing sensors that only turn lights on when someone enters a room, and switch lights off in an empty space.
5. Get More Efficient Devices…Or a New Provider: From computers and copiers to servers and machinery, new models will always be more efficient than older versions, especially if you pay attention to energy ratings that serve as guidelines. But replacing major equipment is a very expensive step – if your businesses is closely managing expenses, think instead about comparing local electricity pricing plans and see if you can switch to a provider who will charge less for the electricity that you use.
6. Update Your Heating and Cooling: Using options like heat pumps or efficient gas furnaces can easily help change your HVAC bills. For a lesser version of updating your heating and cooling, make sure that you are giving your current system proper maintenance and cleaning to keep it operating at peak efficiency.