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SMBnow.com / SMB News / How your SMB can Save on Energy this Winter
Monday, November 17, 2014
624 Update by John Beagle,
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How your SMB can Save on Energy this Winter


Energy costs can be SMB's largest single expense, especially with the arctic air sweeping across the nation today.

 
By Kevin Stevens

Arctic air is sweeping across the nation and higher heating bills won’t be far behind. Unfortunately, these chilly winter months can hit small to mid-size businesses particularly hard because energy costs are often their largest single expense. The good news is, there are several simple steps business owners can take to save money, conserve energy and help their bottom line.

  • Shop Energy Suppliers: By shopping energy plans before the frigid temperatures settle in, SMBs can save big on their electric bills by locking in a fixed-rate for their energy. According to Choose Energy, the nation’s leading energy marketplace, businesses can lower their monthly heating bill by up to 32 percent just by switching suppliers. 
  • Use Smart Power Strips: Smart power strips are time-controlled power strips that can help cut energy consumption during hours of little use. Consider setting these strips to turn off for at least a few hours during closed times.
  • Upgrade to Energy Star Appliances: Break rooms and kitchens are popular areas in businesses. Make sure your appliances are Energy Star appliances to make your business more energy efficient. 
  • Substitute Incandescent for LED Light Bulbs: The initial upfront cost for LED bulbs is higher, but it does pay off in the long run. Incandescents can cost almost 400 percent more to operate than LEDs.
  • Monitor the Thermostat: Each degree lowered on the thermostat can save between 2 and 5 percent on the heating bill. Business owners should consider lowering the temperature during closed hours. To make it easy, programmable digital thermostats are available at most hardware stores for $25-$75.
  • Look for Leaks: By covering leaks, customers can earn up to 5-10 percent in savings. Business owners can check for leaks by looking for air drafts surrounding windows and doors. Drafts can be covered easily using spray foam, or for windows, shrink wrap.
  • Inspect Insulation: Insulation plays a big role in saving energy. Often times, just adding a few inches of insulation (instead of replacing everything) can be done quickly, providing long-lasting savings. Costs incurred with insulation may qualify for energy-improvement tax credit.

Just by following these simple tips, businesses will waste less energy and save more money, which will ultimately help their bottom line.

Kevin Stevens is product market manager, small-mid size business at Choose Energy, the nation’s leading energy marketplace. In October, Choose Energy announced a small-business offering in New York, Illinois and Pennsylvania where small to mid-size business owners can shop for providers online to help them save time and money with their electricity plans. To learn more about Choose Energy, visit www.ChooseEnergy.com.


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