Part of running a business effectively is being cost-efficient, whether it’s with things like operating costs, insurance, rent, and utilities among others. Anything you can do to reduce costs without affecting your business’s performance and the comfort and safety of your employees goes a long way towards setting up your business for success.
One of the simplest ways to do this is by taking steps to reduce your business’s energy consumption. In this guide, we look at a few ways enterprises in Chicago can be more energy-efficient, which includes lighting, automation, and alternative energy sources among others.
1. Switch to Efficient Lighting
It’s estimated that lighting takes up about 15 percent of the total energy used in a commercial space. By switching to more efficient lights, such as LEDs, which use a fraction of the electricity used by halogen lamps and compact fluorescent lamps CFLs), you can dramatically improve your lighting system’s energy efficiency and lower your utility bill.
2. Automate Everything
With the rise of the Internet of things and automation technologies, it has never been easier to automate lighting systems, HVAC (heating, ventilation, and cooling) systems, and security systems.
Apart from being highly convenient for you and your employees, automation takes care of tasks that often fall prey to human error. For example, how many times did you close shop for the weekend only to come back on Monday and find out that the air conditioning was on the whole time? With automation systems, you can create schedules for the AC to come on and off at specific times of the day.
3. Regular Maintenance Is a Must
Many business owners tend to overlook regular maintenance, even if it’s often the key to spotting problems before they become too expensive to fix later on. As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure.
Your cooling and heating equipment system needs to be maintained monthly, the lights need to be checked for flickering or dying bulbs, and the plumbing needs routine checks for leaks. An example of an often-overlooked maintenance job is an inspection of the vents; blocked and dirty air filters can cause heating and cooling equipment to work harder and use more energy than they need to.
4. Use Alternative Power Sources
Think of how you can integrate renewable energy sources into your utility system. Apart from being good for the environment, leveraging renewable energy also diversifies your energy supply and reduces your dependence on utility providers that rely on fossil fuels. Consider investing in solar panels to make your commercial building more energy efficient. The initial cost can be high, but the investment pays off in the long run.
These are just a few of the many ways business owners can reduce their energy consumption and save money. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to energy efficiency, so take time to research the best solutions for your needs.