Since business electricity rates are set by the electric company, many business owners may be under the impression that the cost is not within their control. However, even if business electricity rates increase, there are several things a business can do to mitigate this expense.
Choose your electric company.
In some states, you can choose the electric company you use. A database of these providers may not be readily available, so you may have to do research. Obtain your current usage chart and identify who has the lowest rates for the time you consume the most energy.
Work with your electric company.
Electric companies offer different programs to assist all sizes of businesses. You can request an energy audit and obtain loans and incentives for efficiency improvements. Some even offer seminars and webinars to assist you in making your energy choices.
Choose energy efficient equipment.
According to National Geographic, Light Emitting Diode or LED bulbs will save $540 and 2700 kilowatt hours of energy over its lifespan compared to incandescent light bulbs. Although incandescent lights may initially seem like the inexpensive choice, they are substantially more expensive in the long run. From refrigerators to water heaters to heating and cooling units, you have many choices in your equipment. If you are concerned about your utility bill, replacing worn out units with new energy efficient ones can have substantial long-term savings.
Shut off “vampire equipment”
Many businesses operate in the general 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. time slots. So why is your equipment operating 24 hours a day? If it has a light on, even the one that tells you the equipment is “off,” it is using electricity. By unplugging equipment that’s not being used, shutting off power strips, or even utilizing “green” switches that kill power at the plug, you can reduce or eliminate unnecessary electrical use. Keep in mind you do not want to do this for refrigerators, time clocks, or FAX machines that need to receive after hour faxes.
Offer work-at-home opportunities when possible.
Many employees dream of working from home, and a responsible, honest employee will complete their responsibilities whether their desk is at home or in the office. Technology offers the ability to securely remote access the office, and in some cases the employee is even freed of distraction by working alone. Remote employees allow you to extend your business, without expanding your office space.
So while it is important to keep note of your business electricity rates, there are several options the average business owner has to reduce their consumption, and their energy bill.