During part one of this series we discussed the importance of re-negotiating rates you are paying for your general business expenses. For the remainder of this series we are going to focus on specific areas to consider cutting costs and some strategic ways to be able to do so, along with additional advice and information regarding specific cost savings strategies in each area.
Today we are going to focus on the company electric bill, where saving money is a two-fold process: rates and services comparison and energy efficiency practices.
Rates and Services
Consider both the kW/ hour rate of the electric service along with the reliability of the provider. A cheap rate at the cost of power outages is not worth the risk. Both the kW/ hour rate and service reliability are crucial elements to consider as new offerings are being presented.
Of the many ways to conserve energy there a few that highlighted below:
- Programmable Thermostats – A programmable thermostat will allow the owner to set a schedule for heating and air. The Energy Star thermostat will also adjust automatically based on the outside temperature changes. A programmable thermostat can save 20-30% on heating and cooling costs.
- Lighting – Depending on the types of light fixtures your building already has, you may want to consider efficiency lighting. Below is a graph of energy cost savings based on different lighting measures.
- Office Equipment – As indicated in the chart below, the cost of keeping your office equipment on 24 hours a day versus turning it off at night is substantial.
According to APS,
“Power management features reduce energy consumption, but energy is still used in the power down mode. For greatest savings, turn equipment off at the power source when not in use overnight or on weekends. Plug-in timers automatically turn equipment off at the power sources at certain times of day. They are especially useful for copiers and printers. For copiers, be sure to check with the equipment supplier to find out if the copier needs to remain on continuously.”
The APS article goes on to offer some of the below hints:
- If a computer must be left on, turn off the monitor, even in the case that it will not be used for around a half an hour.
- Utilize power-saver features.
- Make sure the screen saver is compatible with the power management features.
- LCD screens use less energy than conventional monitors.
- Laptops draw one-tenth of the power of a conventional desktop computer.