Are you a small company owner struggling to keep up with rising electricity costs? Are you looking for ways to save money on your energy expenses but aren’t sure which upgrades would pay off? You’re not the only one who feels this way! It is essential to keep costs under control as small business owners, and it is essential to recognize that most small business owners are being pulled in many different directions. It can be challenging to find the time to investigate appropriate energy-saving modifications.
Small businesses have to pay large bills in winter to keep their shops warm. Extreme cold does not have to be a deterrent for small businesses. It’s critical to stay energy efficient during the winter to attract potential clients from the cold. For small enterprises, the winter season can be challenging. Foot traffic diminishes as the temperature drops, but that doesn’t mean profits have to drop. In truth, chilly weather doesn’t have to stop you from providing a welcoming (and warm) environment for your clients while also saving electricity.
Why Is it Important to Save Energy?
You, the air you breathe, the water you drink, and the community you live in all benefit from energy efficiency. Saving energy decreases pollutants in the air and water and conserves natural resources, resulting in a healthier living environment for everyone. Energy efficiency is a no-regrets technique for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other pollution while saving consumers money and providing other benefits. Electricity generation, home heating, car driving, and industrial plant operation contribute to carbon dioxide pollution. Savings in energy and fuel imply a reduction in carbon emissions.
How Can Businesses Use Less Energy?
When you conserve energy in your business, you save money as well. Electricity prices contribute to the financial bottom line of your organization; therefore, the more energy you save, the more profitable you can be. Some energy-saving measures, such as using more energy-efficient equipment, may necessitate a financial outlay. On the other hand, this investment can often result in significant energy savings, lowering your energy expenditures. Energy rating labels can assist you in selecting energy-efficient equipment, saving you money. You must examine your energy expenditures closely and determine which areas of your organization consume the most energy. The equipment that uses the most energy is usually that which involves heating and cooling. An energy efficiency audit may be beneficial to your company. An assessment determines your present energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions to recommend energy efficiency improvements.
Ways to Survive the Cold and Save Energy
- Begin with the proper setup: You don’t always have to turn up the heat in the winter, especially if you’re a small business. “Keep in mind that your customers are likely coming in with their winter coats and hats on to get heated fairly quickly,” says Adam Dixon, an independent consultant who helps Ontario businesses save energy. It may be as simple as reconfiguring your space to keep clients comfortable (and avoid turning up the heat). Small businesses frequently place their cashier stations at the entrance and exit. If yours is, and your point-of-sale system is mobile, consider storing your cash further into the store or behind a counter to deflect air, allowing your employees to retain their distance from opening and closing doors and be less motivated to raise the temperature.
Move seats near windows and doors inward if you’re a restaurant owner. “Take advantage of bar seating as well,” Dixon advises. “By bringing individuals closer together, you can assist create a cozier environment.” Heating that is both efficient and of high quality necessitates well-maintained equipment. If you’re a renter with no control over your heating and cooling equipment, check with your landlord or property management company to see if your rooftop units are regularly maintained.
Request that management establishes individual zoning for businesses that are part of a more extensive retail complex so you can have more control over the heating and cooling in your own space. If you control your heating, a smart thermostat can help you save money. Smart thermostats learn your routine and automatically adjust the temperature as needed, so you don’t have to. Keep in mind that your smart thermostat will only operate if you have WiFi.
- Control your airflow: Isn’t it true that you should leave the kitchen if you can’t stand the heat? A restaurant kitchen that remains extremely hot while guests experience a cold could indicate that your business has poor airflow.
“To compensate for the exhaust, restaurants tend to pull a lot of hot air from the eating area,” says Stephen Dixon, an independent energy analyst. It’s all about striking a balance. Exhaust refers to air leaving the body, whereas makeup refers to air entering the body. Some restaurant kitchens aren’t properly lit, which causes them to pull in more air from the dining room. Restaurant kitchens should install equipment to guarantee adequate makeup air, which helps supplement the air so that less is drawn from the surrounding areas, such as the dining room where customers dine. “People assume turning these units off will conserve energy, but it wastes it,” Stephen explains. So, don’t forget to keep yours going. Remind your employees not to use exhaust fans until necessary, he advises. Exhaust fans are sometimes connected to the same switch as the lighting and turn on automatically. Changing that could help you save energy in the long run.
So, besides a dining room that looks like it belongs in the Arctic, how can you tell if your ventilation isn’t up to par? “If you have to push the door open to get it open, that’s a sign you have a problem with the airflow,” Stephen explains.
- Keep in mind the importance of doors and windows: Keep your central doorway attractive while we’re on the subject of doors. Have you ever felt warm air fall on you from above when you enter a store or restaurant? That’s the sound of an air curtain. If you have a vestibule, Stephen recommends installing one. These devices take air from your building to create a streamlined flow that acts as a barrier between the warm air inside and the chilly air outside.
If you don’t have a vestibule, consider temporarily installing a pop-up sidewalk replica to provide a barrier between the outside air and your space. It will benefit both your consumers and your energy bill. Just bear in mind that you should check your municipality’s size and design restrictions to ensure you’re not breaking any laws.
Caulking and weatherstripping around doors and windows can aid in airtightness. The energy savings alone will be significant, but sealing any cracks for restaurants and food shops also minimizes the chance of pest infestation.
Consider putting window film, which helps retain heat during the winter (and can reflect sunlight out in the summer, keeping your space cooler). They’re easy to install and don’t cost a lot of money so you can get back to work quickly.
Even while frigid winters are a feature of life in Ontario, they don’t have to stifle your business. Keeping easy energy-saving tips top of mind can ensure that your customers and money keep pouring in.
How Can a Small Company Reduce Electricity Consumption?
There are several ways that a company can do to reduce electricity consumption, such as:
1. Evaluate and understand where and how much electricity is being used within the company.
2. Implement an energy management plan which includes setting goals and targets for reducing electricity consumption.
3. Educate employees on power-saving techniques and engage them in implementing the plan.
4. Use energy-efficient lighting and equipment and adequately maintain all electrical equipment and systems.
5. Take advantage of available technology to reduce further electricity consumption, such as solar power or wind energy.
To wrap it all
By following these simple tips, small businesses can survive the cold weather and save on energy costs. First, make sure that your building is properly insulated. Second, block drafts from windows and doors with insulation or weatherstripping. Third, install a programmable thermostat to control the temperature in your business remotely. Fourth, keep interior spaces well-ventilated to prevent condensation. Finally, take advantage of natural sunlight by opening blinds and curtains during the day.
The heating systems usually strain small businesses resulting in expensive bills. By adopting specific simple measures, your business can become a lot more energy-efficient, and you can free your business from paying hefty bills.