Ever since utility costs started to rise we been asked about ways to reduce the utility bill.
The only answer is this, reduce the cost of the utility or reduce how much you use of it. There is no other way to lower your utility bill. Either buy it cheaper, or use less of it, period.
Buy Energy Cheaper
There are some ways to buy your utilities cheaper.
Use more. I know it sounds odd, but you may be at a boarder line between consumption discounts.
Change when energy is used. Some energy companies will sell you the same energy cheaper if you use it during slower times for them. These times are call off-peak hours. Think about when the most energy gets consumed. Think in terms of the entire city, not just you.
- First thing in the morning when showers are running, washing machines, dryers, ovens etc.
- Noon, lunch is being cooked. Ovens, microwaves, dishwashers all running full til.
- Between after school and before bedtime. All the lights are on, the TV and Xbox are in full swing. Restaurants are packed with diners, movie theaters smell of fresh popcorn.
You get the idea, if you can use your energy in between these peak periods some energy companies will charge you less.
If this is not possible for your business then you may need to look at using less in order to save some money.
Use Less Energy
Using less means either turn things off, which is the most common method. The other option would be to buy new equipment that uses less to accomplish the same job.
For example, lets say you have a 20 year old heating and air conditioning system. It’s a forgone conclusion you’ll save money buying a new high efficient heating and air conditioning system. This will cost many thousands of dollars, but you will be just as comfortable (maybe more so) and you will reduce your energy consumption (as is relates to heating and air conditioning) by as much as 40 percent.
Another example, lets say your office is full of old florescent light bulbs. It is another forgone conclusion that updating your lighting system to LED will reduce your consumption.
The problem with both of these examples… they can be very expensive!
Low or No Cost Energy Savings
There are a few low or no cost ways to reduce your energy consumption.
Turn off equipment when not in use. Lights are a great example here. This is particularly true if you have incandescent bulbs or old florescent, as mentioned above. Just for fun you can take Energy.gov lighting IQ test.
Strictly concerning your lighting, there are some myths floating around about it being more expensive to leave lights ON than turn them OFF every time you leave the room. This is not the case with incandescent bulbs EVER! The worst that happens when you turn an incandescent bulb off and on frequently is a shortened bulb life-span. And since incandescent bulbs use so much more electricity than LED’s that may not be a bad thing.
The other negative concerning incandescent bulbs the amount of heat they produce. They lose 90% of their energy as heat not light. That means incandescent lighting, in addition to being 80% more expensive than LED, also measurably increases your air conditioning costs.
Compact florescent (CFL) bulbs do indeed save energy as compared to incandescent, but CFL bulbs contain mercury. Yes it is a small amount, but there are millions upon millions of them being manufactured. So a tiny bit adds up pretty quickly. The disposal of these will become an issue someday. It always happens that way. Lead in paint, asbestos, DDT and the list goes on and on. So my 2 cents worth says going straight to the LED bulb will be better for us all.
According to energy.gov, CFL are better to leave on if you are only going to be gone more than 5 minutes if the bulbs have the ENERGY STAR rating and 15 minutes for other types. Again Energy.gov has a whole section on when to turn your lights off.
Saving energy can not be passive, you must actively shut equipment off. You must actively look for more and better ways to save energy. Or you can partner with a company like CMC Corporate Solutions. We are the professionals and keep up to date on technology. Give us a call.