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The winds of winter are blowing, and that means your business is more than likely feeling the strain of larger utility bills. While you could forego the normal comforts of a heated office to improve your seasonal bottom line, we think you (and your employees) will benefit more from trying out a few of these energy-saving tips this winter.

Lighting

When it comes to commercial energy efficiency, a lot of the same rules apply that you’d use in a residential setting. First and foremost, this means better managing your workplace lighting.

The simplest and most cost-effective solution for cutting energy usage is to replace all bulbs with higher efficiency solutions like LEDs and CFLs. They last longer and use less energy to produce the same luminosity. Go wild and retrofit all those T12 lights with the magnetic ballasts to energy-saving T8 lights that have electronic ballasts.

Don’t forget you can save a few extra bucks just by installing motion sensors in less frequented areas (like a restroom) to turn off lights when no one is around. Additionally, consider your lighting schedule on the whole. Does your workplace maintain lighting year-round? Even at night and on the weekends?

HVAC and Other Appliances

In a similar vein, the ‘phantom’ energy that goes into your computers and other office equipment can really start to add up over time despite being readily fixed by the push of a button.

Depending on what you pay for your electricity rate, you could be saving upwards of $40 per computer simply by turning these devices off when they’re not in use (like overnight or on weekends). When possible – always strive for appliances and devices that come with the ENERGY STAR® logo.

As far as your HVAC system goes, maintenance is the key to maximizing efficiency throughout the year. This is undoubtedly your biggest energy draw as a business, so it’s important to properly maintain equipment just like you would in other facets of your business.

Even newer models collect wear and tear, so change your filters regularly, clean the condenser coils, and schedule seasonal tune-ups. Don’t forget to insulate water heaters if they’re several years old!

Solar Energy

If you haven’t already looked into solar panels for your business, you’re missing out on one of the best commercial investments out there. Call us biased for including commercial solar on a list of energy-saving suggestions, but consider the number of Fortune 500 businesses like Google, Apple, and Walmart that have embraced solar on a massive scale.

In addition to reducing your energy consumption from your utility, a solar power system offers rate security for the life of the panels. Historically rates have risen, year over year, and they will continue to do so well into the future. With solar, you’re effectively locking in the rates for a portion of your electricity and subsequently seeing the resultant savings.

Not only that, but you’ll also see the added benefit of an improved company image. Environmentalism is becoming increasingly important to consumers, and a clean, renewable technology like solar projects a progressive portrait to your respective industry.

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