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How Small Businesses Can Ensure Energy and Building Efficiency

Ensure Energy and Building Efficiency

Small businesses need to ensure efficiency across all fronts in order to grow. Apart from operational efficiency, companies should take steps to ensure energy and building efficiency to improve their bottom line. 

In the United States, small businesses are typically housed in commercial structures below 50,000 square feet. These ventures account for 44% of the total commercial building energy use, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). All actions aimed at improving energy and building efficiencies not only translate to business savings. These eco-friendly steps can also help increase productivity and minimize carbon footprint. 

Check out the tips below to improve your commercial building’s energy and space efficiency.

Maximize Building Space 

One of the ways to optimize a small business space is to analyze the actual usage and occupancy rates, along with identifying the areas frequented by employees and considering their suggestions. The management can either do this the traditional way by conducting physical surveys and interviews or through more advanced technologies such as installing sensors and wireless devices.

Using smart technologies to save on your physical space and improve energy efficiency shouldn’t be an intimidating process for businesses. If you’re looking for a technology service provider aimed at promoting overall business efficiency, check out widesky.cloud.

Measure Your Energy Consumption

Before embarking on any comparative study, benchmark figures will have to be defined to measure any changes. For your business energy expenditures, study your electricity bills and calculate your average monthly consumption. There are digital tools and applications that can help you with this process.     

Analyze how your business uses energy and find out whether there are inefficiencies within the system. If you can reduce your reliance on traditional power, it’s best if you invest in clean electricity or energy generated from renewable sources. This can really add up as a way to ensure energy and building efficiency.

Focus On Heating And Cooling Efficiency

In both residential and commercial settings, the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system takes up a substantial amount of investment. It’s also one of the pricier essentials to maintain and run. By going deeper in your study of these you can better ensure energy and building efficiency.

An HVAC system accounts for 40% of your total power consumption. To keep it in good condition, make sure to have your contractor regularly service the unit. Doing so can help keep your power bills down and reduce energy emissions. 

The US Department of Energy (DoE) suggests dialing your thermostat down at 7-10°F for 8 hours a day from its normal setting as an energy-saving tip. The DoE says consumers who religiously do this can save as much as 10% of their standard energy use in a year. 

Don’t Forget Insulation

To reduce your building’s energy requirements, it’s necessary to keep your office airtight to prevent cold and warm air from seeping through. With too much air going in and out of your entry and exit ways, your heating and cooling systems need to work double-time in keeping your staff and clients comfortable. This leads to a spike in power bills.

Check your doors and windows to see whether there are leaks and other problems. If you see any problems, contact the building maintenance supervisor as soon as possible to seal the section.

Maintaining your windows and doors not only saves energy, but it can also keep the building secure.

Declutter

Extra space for unwanted stuff isn’t a good option for businesses. Bulky materials such as computer junk and unused office equipment can trap warm air and make your cooling system less efficient.

Other Structural Improvements 

Ensure Energy and Building Efficiency

If you own the building, consider discussing with an architect how your business can improve its structure to facilitate energy efficiency. For instance, you can have new roofs installed to keep your office cool during the summer. Retrofitting is another worthy investment, with the potential of lowering energy costs up to 15 %.

Small Things Can Help 

You don’t need to perform major activities to ensure your building remains energy efficient. Consider taking the following steps and experience a reduction in your monthly energy use:       

  • Choose energy-efficient office equipment.
  • Use light-emitting diode (LED) lights.
  • Switch off electricity when not in use.
  • Set some devices like printers and photocopiers to sleep mode. 
  • Reduce paper use and don’t print all documents when they’re in draft mode. 
  • Make sure all plugs are detached from the electrical outlet. 
  • Adjust your thermostat per Energy Department standards.
  • Keep your office doors closed.  
  • Instead of traveling often for big meetings, consider video conferencing. 

Wrap Up

Of all the business operational expenses, office rental and utilities take the second largest chunk after worker’s salaries. Unfortunately, you can’t reduce employees’ pay, but you certainly can minimize energy costs through taking time to ensure energy and building efficiency. Despite significant upfront expenses, an investment meant to optimize energy efficiency is often money well spent and translates to more savings down the road.

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