Thursday, December 15, 2011

Business Electricity

Electric Outlet MacroMost often on this blog I am talking about using less energy. That can be propane, natural gas, coal, wood, oil, and electricity (among others). More often then not though I am talking about things you can do in your home to reduce you consumption of energy. Not sure why I thought of it today, but I got to thinking about ways that businesses could reduce their use of electricity. Lots of business use electricity and plenty of it. From small home based businesses to large industrial operations there are lots of places to save. 

Common Ways to Save Electricity

Many of the common household ways that I mention on this blog will also apply to businesses as well. A great example is a small retail store (or even a large one for that matter) which lights their store with incandescent bulbs. Not only are they wasting their business electricity by using inefficient bulbs but they are going to feel it more then at home because typically a store is going to leave their lights on 24 hours a day. The first thing they need to think about it spending the upfront money to get CFL's or even LED's. Yeah they will spend a little now (which is going to be a tax deduction) but they are going to save much more then that over the life of the bulbs! The next thing they need to think about is whether or not they really need to leave the lights on 24 hours a day. The argument usually is during the day they want to light their products better and therefore hopefully translate that into more sales, and during the night it is for security reasons. Well it might be worth doing some testing to see if they really need the lights on during the day. Or maybe turn off the lights near windows on sunny days and turn them on when the sun goes down. You could even consider posting a sign at the front door mentioning how you are going green and have turned off some lighting, and can potentially increase sales to people like me. Then for the nighttime security, maybe you could leave on half the lights you normally do. Or turn them off except for a few small ones, and install motion detectors so that if anyone should come into the store the lights will come on.

Systematic Ways to Save Business Electricity

Another way to reduce you electrical consumption at a business is to work to change your whole business culture. Have training sessions with you employee discussing ways to reduce electrical consumption in their day to day work, and emphasize how important it is. You might even consider holding a contest asking for employees to submit ways to save electricity. Make a big deal of awarding the winner and implementing their idea. Not only will you save with what you do on that one idea, but hopefully you'll be reinforcing how committed you are to saving electricity and therefore the planet and encourage people to save even if it's not part of the contest.

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