While temperatures are currently in the 70s across much of Canada, it’s still a good time for businesses to get ahead of rising natural gas rates by considering ways to reduce their heating costs and increase their energy savings for the coming winter.
Heating is an often overlooked, yet significant, expense that contributes to a business’ overall energy costs, and can ultimately negatively impact its bottom line. That’s one reason why Active Business Services advises businesses to consider some or all of the following ways to reduce one’s heating costs and increase savings on energy:
1. Install smart, programmable controls – Heating (or cooling and lighting) a commercial space when it is empty doesn’t make good business sense and doesn’t help energy savings. Temperatures, and even lighting, can be controlled automatically with smart, programmable controls.
2. Make sure you have the right equipment – Did you know that for every dollar spent on energy efficient systems, you can expect a return of two to three dollars? If your HVAC system is 10 years or older, it’s wasting a tremendous amount of energy and negatively impacting your monthly bottom line.
3. Check for energy inefficiencies – Even small leaks can lead to big expenses and little energy savings. In places where energy is wasted, that waste enlarges over time. And as leaks increase in volume, monthly utility costs begin to rise. While these types of leaks mostly happen in ductwork, windows, doors and worn out insulation should also be addressed and/or replaced.
4. Be seasonally conscious – Sometimes small changes can make a big difference. In the summer, close or lower the blinds, especially in spaces that aren’t being used. In the winter, open them and let the sunlight in. Keeping your office temperature one degree lower during the winter and one degree higher in the summer can reduce energy usage by up to 10%.
5. Encourage employees to be energy-conscious – Encourage your staff to brainstorm and come up with ways to cut energy usage. Having an open discussion about your efforts to increase energy efficiency can be a first step toward creating an energy efficiency work culture.
6. Make sure your HVAC system is regularly maintained – Lastly, every business owner wants, and needs, to spend money wisely. Making sure your HVAC system is in good working condition and running efficiently is money well spent. Proper maintenance can reduce costs in the form of repairs and act as an early warning system for potential problems that can come with even higher costs.
If you’re unsure of how much energy your business is spending on heating, you might want to consider using the resources and knowledge of an energy management firm such as Active Business Services, which can help you determine your energy usage and energy costs in real and detailed terms.
In short, improving energy efficiency in today’s businesses is one of the most constructive, cost-effective ways to address the rising challenges of high energy prices, air pollution, and even global climate change.