As a small-business owner, the prospect of making your company more energy efficient can seem daunting. Understandably, the idea of purchasing new equipment or making expensive structural upgrades is not something that appeals to burgeoning entrepreneurs dealing with unstable market forces and narrow profit margins. There are, however, affordable steps you can take to make your business more energy efficient without spending a lot of money.
Take Advantage Of Smart Meter-Enabled Tools And Programs
As part of a larger effort to modernize Chicago’s electric grid, ComEd is installing smart meters at all homes and businesses across northern Illinois. With a smart meter, you have online access to your business’s hourly, daily and monthly energy-usage information to learn how to better manage energy use. You can also access a number of smart meter-enabled tools and programs that can help you save money on your electric bills. To find out if you have a smart meter, or when smart meter installations are planned for your area, visit ComEd.com/SmartMeterMap.
Train Staff To Be More Energy Conscious
Making your business more energy efficient takes a group effort. Training your team to switch off lights in unoccupied areas, turn off high-energy-using office equipment like copiers and printers after business hours, and putting unused workstations and other electronic devices in sleep mode can take a big bite out of your energy costs.
Swap Out Incandescent Light Bulbs With LED Bulbs
For most small-business owners, the bulk of energy spending goes into lighting retail or office space. One way to greatly reduce that expenditure is to replace old, incandescent bulbs with ENERGY STAR® certified LED bulbs. Not only do these bulbs consume 75 percent less energy, but they also last considerably longer. ComEd also offers instant, in-store discounts on a variety of ENERGY STAR certified LEDs and trim kits. Look for the ComEd “Lower Price” sticker at participating retail stores.
Optimize Your HVAC System
After lighting, one of the next biggest energy expenses for a small business is heating and cooling costs. To optimize your heating ventilation and air conditioning system, first change out your HVAC system’s filters monthly. Second, get your HVAC system serviced seasonally to extend its life for as long as possible. Keeping your HVAC system operating at peak efficiency will definitely have an impact on your bottom line.
Weatherize Your Business
Another inexpensive way to keep your energy costs down is to completely weatherize your business. Spending a few dollars on caulk and weather stripping to seal up all the cracks, leaks and gaps in the building your company operates out of can bring your heating bill down by as much as 10 to 20 percent.
Want to learn more about how ComEd smart meters can help your small business? Contact ComEd at 866-368-8326 or visit ComEd.com/BizSmartMeter.
For more tips and inspiration for small business owners,
visit CBS Small Business Pulse Chicago.