For many businesses, the cost of energy makes up a significant portion of the recurrent expenses found on a balance sheet (30% of operating costs for the average business). Paying what seems like sunk costs every month and feeling like you don’t have the ability to reduce those costs can be discouraging. But energy efficiency has saved millions of businesses up to hundreds of billions of dollars each year for the past 35 years.

Achieving reductions in energy consumption, and in turn, energy costs of up to 30%, is 100% possible.

Implementing the three steps below in conjunction with selecting an energy plan from a retail electric supplier will help the consumer to completely take control of their energy spend. Selecting a third-party supplier will decrease exposure to a volatile market by controlling the paid rate while the following energy efficiency measures will additionally reduce the amount of energy consumed.

  1. Energy Assessments

The best way to get started on a path to reducing the amount of energy businesses consume is through a comprehensive evaluation. Many utilities offer free to low cost programs where an engineer visits the property to complete an inspection. Often an interview will take place to understand the needs and usage behavior of the company. After completing the property inspection and interview, the utility will provide recommendations for projects to reduce energy consumption along with estimated costs, savings, and potential incentives that can be implemented.

As most businesses don’t have the technical expertise in-house to identify and implement energy efficiency improvements, energy assessments conducted by the utility are the perfect way for a business to accomplish such measures. Some common areas of improvement that an assessment will inspect include lighting, heating/cooling units, and water heaters.

Country Ridge StablesCountry Ridge Stables reduces electricity consumption by 29,000 kWh per year, saving an estimated $3,100 annually.
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Palmer House Hilton reduces natural gas consumption by 133,000 therms annually, saving over $47,000 per year.Palmer House
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Use our Energy Assessment Guide to get all the information you need for your property.

  1. Energy Saving Behavior

Even though most utilities have free energy assessments and various rebates, energy assessments and the projects that accompany them might be too big of an investment as many of the recommendations are for larger projects. Another way to increase energy efficiency is by making small changes to the facility and staff behavior. Simple and easy actions can add up to a large reduction in energy consumption with little impact on the business’s daily operations.

Indulge Belgian ChocolatesIndulge Fine Belgian Chocolates closely monitored their thermostat, kept doors closed and wore warmer clothes indoors during colder months. In the past four years, the company has grown 20% with energy consumption remaining stagnant. This has resulted in an estimated $1,600 in savings annually.
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Heather Brae Shortbreads added skylights and replaced their lights with LED bulbs saving over $10,000 per year in lighting expenses.Heather Brae
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Use our Energy Savings Behavior Guide to help you reduce your property’s energy.

  1. Financing and Utility Discounts/Rebates

Before a business takes steps towards change, financing options should be researched.  Federal, state and utility level opportunities exist to finance projects all the way down to discounts on energy efficient light bulbs.

Roquette AmericaRoquette America was able to complete an energy efficiency project that was sitting on the project manager’s desk for three years due to financing hurdles by working with the North Shore Gas Savings Program. Through rebates, the payback on the project investment was paired down from five years to only two years, allowing Roquette to proceed with the efficiency upgrades and plan a more extensive project for the future.
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Pekin Hospital received more than $13,000 in cash incentives from the Ameren Illinois Energy Efficiency Program for five lighting projects saving the hospital $14,000 annually. Performing a lighting, steam trap and boiler upgrade saved the hospital more than $84,000 per year in energy costs.Pekin Hospital
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Use our Financing And Utility Discount/Rebate Guide to maximize your savings and stretch your dollars.

Whether your company is big or small, has a large budget for energy efficiency or none whatsoever, there are measures that can be taken to reduce the amount of energy that a facility consumes. By looking at these routes to save money as risk-free, predictable actions, a business can seize this opportunity as one of the easiest ways to increase net income.

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