After over a year of lockdowns, stay-at-home orders, and social distancing, businesses are finally beginning to return to normal, from restaurants opening back up for dine-in, to employees returning to work in the office. Now that companies are operating at full capacity again, energy usage and utility bills are going to rise to prices that business owners haven’t seen in over a year – especially with peak heat-wave season approaching. We wanted to share some tips to help you keep your company’s utility bills and energy usage down without sacrificing comfort during the summer.
- Install smart-thermostats with sustainability services in your building: Having a modern energy management system is one of the best and easiest ways to lower your utility costs and prevent energy waste. When you install smart thermostats and connect them to a cloud based energy management platform like Zen HQ you are able to remotely set schedules for your air conditioning, change the thermostat at any time from anywhere, and even access utility incentives when you enroll to cut your facility energy use during times of peak electric grid demand. With a modern energy management system, you can save money and do your part for the environment.
- Switch to energy-efficient appliances: Whether you have one refrigerator and a microwave in your office break room, or an entire kitchen full of appliances at your restaurant, these pieces of equipment are energy-suckers. Think about it – certain appliances such as refrigerators are always running. By simply switching out your outdated appliances for more energy efficient ones, you can passively save a ton of money and prevent energy waste throughout the year. Check energystar.gov for a list of appliances that are certified as energy-efficient.
- Consider going solar: Switching your commercial building to a solar-powered energy system might seem like a huge commitment, but in the long run it usually pays for itself and then some. If you have the means and the right qualifications for installing solar, this is an option that not only will save you loads of money on utility bills, but also is better for the environment. Even if sustainability isn’t at the forefront of your current business objectives, it is never a bad idea to do something that benefits the whole planet.
- Check for rebates: Check your utility service provider’s website for rebate programs that they offer. Most utility companies will offer incentives and money-back programs to businesses that replace their old equipment, purchase new energy efficient equipment, improve existing processes, etc. If you are already planning on upgrading your appliances, first check for rebates to save money on the costs.
- Add window and doorway insulation or shading: We may sound like a broken record with this one, but it really does make a huge difference. Preventing the cool air from escaping and warm air from getting inside is essential for keeping your energy costs down. Check your windows and doors for weatherstripping, and if needed, add or replace the stripping to update your insulation. You can also add blackout shades to stop the sun from heating up the room, or add tinting to your windows to reduce the amount of heat that is absorbed through the glass. When your building is well insulated, you won’t need to run the air conditioning as frequently which will save you money and make the planet a little greener.