(BPT) - Companies across the nation are looking for ways to become more energy efficient, and small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are no exception. Reducing energy consumption is one of the top areas where SMB leaders need more guidance - up 14 percent from the previous year, according to the 2015 Cox Conserves Sustainability Survey.
Energy costs are among the largest business expenses for any company. Simple conservation efforts will go a long way to lower the power costs of your current operations.
"More companies than ever have said they want information on sustainability," says Cox Enterprises Executive Vice President Alex Taylor. "Our survey showed that some SMBs often find it difficult to make or justify the investment in sustainability programs or prioritize them over other demands and initiatives. From our own experience with the Cox Conserves program, I can confirm that sustainability is as good for our business as it is for the environment."
Here are some quick tips that can help any sized business improve efficiency and cost savings.
1. Know your baseline. Your utility company can provide detailed usage records that show usage and cost totals, as well as helpful details like peak usage times. This data helps you measure your progress.
2. Take advantage of savings. Government agencies offer a variety of tax credits, rebates and other incentives to support energy efficiency. Visit energy.gov/savings to find programs that may be available to your business.
3. Pay attention. Take note of the natural energy sources specific to your geographic location. Sun or wind energy technologies may be great money-saving solutions. If the sun sufficiently lights your office or meeting room, make a point of keeping the blinds open and the electric lights off.
4. Look at lighting. Lighting retrofits are a simple and effective solution that do not interrupt regular operations and often offer a short return on investment.
5. Encourage employees. Turning off computers and other office equipment when not in use is an easy way employees can make an impact.
These tips can start your business on a journey toward becoming a more efficient and eco-friendly organization. The benefits start at protecting the earth and extend to enhancing the bottom line.