If there's one thing that all businesses have in common, it's that the folks who are running them would like to save money. It doesn't matter whether you sell cars or computers, raise money for non-profits or run a website: you need to save every penny you can. One of the best ways to do this -- besides, you know, buying excellent, high-quality used office furniture, ahem -- is to trim your office energy bill. If you do it the right way, you can save a ton of money without even inconveniencing your workers. Here are a few ways to get started.
1. Review Your HVAC System
Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems are charged with keeping our office environments livable. They're also a great source of potential waste. If these systems are running inefficiently, it can have a big effect on your bottom line.
"The HVAC system tends to be one energy use that can always be readdressed and re-engineered to be made more efficient," said Annette Bubak, vice president of Better Building Performance in Las Vegas.
2. Look for Leaks
Cheaper and easier than replacing your whole heating system, stopping up gaps in window sealants and around doors and other entry points can make a big difference in how much money you spend heating and cooling the office. It will also make it more comfy to come to work.
3. Update Your Lighting
Switch to energy-efficient LED and fluorescent lighting, and turn off lights in areas when they're not needed. There's no point in keeping the lights burning in empty offices and conference rooms, for example.
4. Get a Better Thermostat
If your office space has had the same old-fashioned thermostats since the Reagan administration, it's time to consider an upgrade. The newer thermostats are digital, programmable, and often come with remote control access. There's no better way to make sure that you're not heating and cooling an empty space.
5. Last Person Out Turns Everything Off
That goes for the computer monitors, which people should turn off when they leave for the evening, as well as the lights. If you have cleaning people in after hours, consider asking them to make it the last thing they do when they're done tidying up the office. Otherwise, get your folks in the habit of checking to see that everything's turned off when they go home for the evening.