Improve the bottom line by reducing energy costs

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 42 views 

Editor’s note: Michelle Stockman works with Little Rock-based Arkansas Capital Corp. to promote entrepreneurship development around the state. Stockman earned a bachelor’s degree from Loyola University-Chicago in communications and fine arts, and earned a master’s in entrepreneurship from Western Carolina University. Her thoughts on business success appear each week on The City Wire.

Businesses juggle the balance of cash flowing in and out of their company’s everyday. Many small business owners simply watch over the money that the business is generating and make sure there is enough to pay the bills each week. While some expenses small businesses face each month are fixed, utility bills are an area that business owners can evaluate and make positive adjustments.

Trent Hamm from the OPEN Forum by American Express suggests several tips on cutting down your business energy bills.

• Get a free energy audit from your utility company.
Many electric companies offer a free energy audit program to ensure that you’re using your energy efficiently.

• Replace light bulbs with energy efficient ones.
If you use a single bulb for ten hours a day, reducing that bulb from a 60 watt to an 18 watt energy efficient bulb will save you $1.30 each month. Multiply that out to an entire year and by all of the bulbs in your business and you’re talking about some serious savings. Additionally, the light bulbs have a longer operating life than traditional bulbs.

• Invest in a programmable thermostat.
A programmable thermostat automatically adjusts the temperature of your workplace during the hours where no one is working. This will not cost you much while the savings will be huge.

• Establish energy efficient standard practices.
Make sure that the “closing up shop for the day” routine involves turning off as much equipment as possible, turning off the lights, and so on.

• Air seal your business.
Many businesses lose substantial portions of their heating and cooling costs to small drafts that aren’t even noticed by the employees.

• Use efficient power strips for your electronic devices.
The coffee pot and radio and television in the break room might seem like great morale boosters, but they’re also energy vampires. Put all these devices on a single power strip with a switch, then make it part of the standard closing procedure to flip that switch and keep the energy vampires from eating your money.

There are other areas to save energy within the business, can you or your employees find additional ways to save? With various “going green” competitions, you may even have a chance to show the world your frugalness.

Stockman can be reached at
[email protected]