For Chicago-based small business owners, inclement weather can result in lost sales, and in some cases, unexpected temporary closures. As such, entrepreneurs will want to do everything they can to reduce their operating costs, including taking steps to keep their energy bills as low as possible. Here are several simple but effective smart energy measures you can take to cut costs this winter.
1. Get an energy assessment.
If you’re worried about the amount of energy your business is using, contact ComEd and schedule a free assessment of your business at your convenience. You will receive a report with recommendations on how you can save.
2. Upgrade incandescent and CFL lights to LED.
One simple way for a business to cut down on its energy costs is to replace older incandescent and compact fluorescent lights with light-emitting diode (LEDs) bulbs. In addition to lasting two to three times longer, LEDs also consume about 75 percent less energy than CFLs.
3. Get an HVAC system checkup.
It’s estimated that at least 20 percent of the air that moves through heating, ventilation and air conditioning is due to leaks, holes and improperly sealed ducts. Getting an HVAC system serviced regularly can cut down on that loss and getting the system’s filters cleaned will allow it to operate more efficiently and cost effectively.
4. Unplug it.
When not in use, turning off appliances like coffee makers, vending machines, workstations, printers, copiers and microwaves, as well as turning off lights in unused areas, are best practices that can have a real impact on your company’s bottom line. Adapters plugged into outlets use energy even if they’re not charging. Installing occupancy sensors in bathrooms and unused areas as well as vending machine misers can also save money and energy.
5. Go digital.
Installing a programmable thermostat can save businesses money too. A company can reduce heating and cooling expenses by as much as 10 percent by turning its thermostat back 7°-10°F from normal settings for eight hours a day.
6. In with the new.
Swap out old appliances with more energy-efficient ones. Replacing older office equipment with newer ENERGY STAR® certified devices can save a small business hundreds of dollars over the life of the products. A smart meter can help identify your least efficient equipment.
7. Go paperless.
Small business owners can also save money by going paperless. Using a mobile app that emails customers receipts, exporting records to the cloud and handling all of your HR paperwork digitally can dramatically reduce a business’s printing costs, as well as the energy used to print those items.
Want to learn more about saving on energy costs for your small business? Contact ComEd at 1(855) 433-2700 or visit ComEd.com/Business.
For more tips and inspiration for small business owners, visit Small Business Pulse Chicago.