With the recent instability of fossil fuel supply and the resulting changes in prices, it should be no surprise that business owners across the globe at looking at their utility bills. Aside from any spikes that we might be facing now, it’s a good idea to think about how you can keep those bills more stable in the future. Here, we’re going to look at some changes you can make, from little to large, in order to keep those bills manageable so your company isn’t at risk of spending its way into financial troubles.
Get an audit of how and where energy is used in your business
While we’re going to look at a range of options that can help you reduce the use of energy throughout the business overall, the best answer is to do it in the way that suits the business you have. This might mean hiring an energy audit team to go through the entire workplace, assessing the appliances using energy throughout the whole scope of the business to give you a better idea of where you’re using the most energy and when. They can then make more specific recommendations on what you can cut and change.
Reduce energy waste by turning down and shutting off
Aside from the necessary energy that goes into worthwhile uses, such as keeping the office comfortable and powering your computers, you should also look at where you might be wasting energy as well. Failing to turn off lights and appliances when they’re not in use can result in the rise of vampire energy, which is effective when you’re using energy without knowing about it or needing to. Similarly, you can stop your heating and AC systems from using more energy than necessary by getting a smart thermostat that you can program easily and remotely, or even set to regulate itself.
Install more energy-efficient appliances throughout the office
There are more companies focused on creating energy efficient appliances than ever before. Given that your business might not be able to run by shutting down its appliances too often, you should instead look at replacing older appliances with those that are going to make much better use of the energy that goes into them. The most vital of all is your heating, air conditioning, and ventilation, as they tend to use the most energy in the majority of offices, but you should also look at things like refrigeration tech and any appliances in the office kitchen. Newer appliances tend to, in general, be more efficient than those that have grown old and less effective at their job over time.
Switch your provider
Depending on where you are, you might not have too many options. However, there are states taking aim to get rid of energy monopolies, which has resulted in growing choices that might be worth taking a look at. It’s now more likely than ever that you can choose a new energy supplier. There are certain elements of fossil fuel prices that are fixed across the board, so you’re not always guaranteed the biggest difference in price. However, even small differences can add up to big savings when you extrapolate them over a longer period of time. Rarely do utility companies reward loyalty in any meaningful way, so take a look at whether switching would make sense for your business.
Harness the sun
One of the ways that you can reduce your utility bills is by reducing your reliance on costly fossil fuels in the first place. What might have seemed unattainable a couple of decades ago, that businesses can reliably run partly or entirely on solar energy, is very much becoming a reality. There is an initial investment that has to be made to add solar power to your premises, of course, but depending on where you are, you can greatly reduce your reliance on fossil fuels by using solar energy, instead. Of course, your business would also benefit from the public image of being more eco-friendly, as well.
Producing your own gas
Solar isn’t the only way you can supplement or even entirely change the energy that runs your business. Another way you can reduce your reliance on fossil fuels is with the introduction of biogas, or RNG (renewable natural gas) to be specific. How is RNG created? Effectively certain specific bacteria are introduced to feedstock (such as maize) in an oxygen-deprived environment and biogas results from the process of digestion. Moisture, CO2 and other contaminants are removed from this gas to create a usable form. Biogas installations are already being used in homes and businesses across the country, working much the same way that natural gas would, but you can entirely control your own supply, so you’re not as vulnerable to things like the price increases we’ve seen from the fossil fuel industry after your initial installation.
Reduce the amount of time and energy spent in the office
One of the major changes to the business world as of late has been the rapid growth of remote working as a norm. While it was already spreading before, the pandemic really kicked it into high gear and showed many advantages to not just workers who get to stay home but also employers. One of those benefits is that many were able to suddenly reduce their costs by reducing how much space they had to rent. As a result, switching to a remote working setup would also allow you to spend a lot less money on energy. There are going to be fewer people using fewer appliances in your offices if you move to a hybrid setup of some people working in the office and others working at home.
So long as you have a business to run, you’re always going to have to worry about how much it costs to keep the lights on. Hopefully, the tips above can help you diminish that worry at least a little. Keep an eye on emerging technologies and the roles they can play, too.