Energy consumption is a way of life in the world we live in today. Nearly everything we do involves energy in one form or another, and it has become a compelling concern financially for small businesses as costs continue to rise alongside the usage. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, power demand is projected to increase from 3,999 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) in 2023 to 4,063 billion kWh in 2024. What do those big numbers mean to small business owners? Expenses. By updating your energy efficiency, you can potentially save money. Here are six energy-saving suggestions:
1. Go paperless
This strategy allows for business efficiency, more manageable KPIs, increased invoice cycles, happy vendors, and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) practices, all potentially culminating in lower costs. Here are a few ways going paperless may help you:
- Lower costs through automation
- Enhance sustainability practices
- Implement e-signature software
- Replace paper copies and filing rooms with cloud storage
2. Upgrade your small business’s lighting
Lighting accounts for about 20% of the average commercial building’s energy consumption. Consider converting to LEDs. Here is why:
- They last longer
- They use less energy
- They are just as bright
3. Optimize your heating and cooling
Energy costs are simply part of what it takes to run a business. By taking the time to assess your needs and finances and utilizing help from a financial professional, you can take steps to lower your overall energy bill. Here are a few tips:
- Invest in smart or programmable thermostats
- Program the thermostat to lower or shut off during off hours and weekends
4. Utilize energy company off-peak times
Utility companies generally have high-peak and off-peak times. Determine when you use the most energy in a day and work to focus those events, meetings, and brainstorms during off-peak times.
5. Have your employees work remotely if feasible
If possible, encourage employees who can work remotely from home, do so. This strategy can save on electricity, office supplies, food, and even real estate costs. If you break that down, you may be significantly lowering the energy usage by implementing this new idea that many companies have adopted.
6. Employ the hibernation feature of all computers and laptops and turn off the lights
One easy measure to cut down on energy costs is to program the hibernation feature on all computers and laptops to activate after an employee is away from their desk or workstation for a period of time, especially after work hours and over the weekend. Don’t forget to turn off unused lights and encourage your employees to do the same.
Ways to utilize the money that you saved changing your energy usage strategy
Hypothetically speaking, say the changes you made to your energy conservation strategy worked, and you were able to save some money. What can you do with the influx of cash you now have that you didn’t have before? There are several options a small business owner can consider to try and make every penny saved count:
- Pay down debt
- Purchase new equipment or technology
- Invest in bonds or equities
- Marketing campaigns
Consider consulting a financial professional
Every decision you make financially has the potential to affect you in one way or another, good or bad. Meeting with a financial professional to review the financial situation of your small business and discussing your strategy with the money you now have saved from conserving energy can be a crucial step in working to grow your small business and potentially avoiding financial obstacles you haven’t yet considered.
Benefits of Going Paperless for Utility and Energy Companies | Mosaic Paperless Solutions (mosaiccorp.com)
Upgrade Your Lighting | ENERGY STAR
15 Energy Saving Tips To Reduce Business Energy Costs (linkedin.com)
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
To determine which investment(s) may be appropriate for you, consult your financial professional prior to investing.
All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.
This article was prepared by LPL Marketing Solutions
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