~by Lillian Connors~
Being as efficient as possible in business means you create enough without wasting more resources than necessary. Hence, trying to cut down your running costs is as important as charging enough for your product or service to make some profit. Also, by reducing energy consumption, you’re doing your share of work aimed at preserving our planet’s resources.
The more you work or the longer hours you put in, the more electricity, water or gas you consume. Does that mean you need to pay much more? Not necessarily. Namely, there are several factors you need to consider when analyzing the opportunities to be more efficient when it comes to energy consumption.
Apart from the obvious actions you can take, such as not leaving lights on when you’re not working, not heating the offices during weekends or fixing a leaking faucet, what else is there that can help you cut your operating costs, thus increasing your profit margin?
1. Energy-efficient practices
In order to establish such practices, you need to raise awareness among all employees about the importance of not wasting energy. For example, spend more of your electricity usage during the off-peak hours. Every utility company offers those. Make sure you know when you can benefit from cheaper electricity and start saving.
You might want to hire an energy audit company to perform an energy audit of your offices. Again, you can turn to your utility company first since most of them offer free programs of this kind. If not, consider investing in an expert on this matter. The advice you get may help you pay off their service very quickly.
3. Replacing bulbs
If you’re still using traditional bulbs, it’s high time you replaced them with LEDs; they consume less power and run longer. They might be more expensive to purchase, but their efficiency soon pays off the initial investment of their purchase.
You can schedule your computers to switch to hibernate mode at a particular time each day to reduce electricity consumption. This allows you to save the work you’re doing without losing anything, and you can pick up where you left off the next working day.
5. Reducing paper waste
Try to minimize the amount of printing, and print only those documents that are really necessary. Also, avoid printing pages with less than two thirds of them covered by text. Being economical with printing means you’ll spend less on paper and your printer will run longer.
6. Repair even the slightest issues
Whether we’re talking about sealing doors and windows or fixing a dripping faucet, you need to act promptly. Such problems don’t just disappear after some time and they can incur additional, unnecessary costs. “Make sure you regularly inspect all the pipes and fixtures and ask your colleagues to report any problem as soon as they notice it”, suggest the experts at Force Plumbing and Heating, ”as any issue will not only cause you to spend more water than you should, but can also lead to serious emergencies, such as office floods, for instance”.
If possible, replace old appliances, machines and gadgets that are much less energy-efficient than new ones. Have a look at how much energy your old equipment consumes and compare it with how much new items require. You should be able to determine how soon you’ll pay off your investment. Also, you’ll have new equipment, which is much less prone to malfunctions and breakdowns than your outdated ones.
8. Alternative sources of energy
More and more companies are choosing to install solar panels to produce energy. Solar energy, being free and renewable, is extremely popular, especially in sunnier parts of the world, and many governments offer subsidies for the purchase of solar panels. If installed and used properly, they should pay off within just a few years.
Of course, there are other ways you can make your daily business operations much more energy-efficient, but you need to start somewhere. The ideas presented here should definitely not be disregarded when attempting to improve your efficiency and reduce the operational costs.
As the Co-Editor of BizzMarkBlog, Lillian Connors believes that the question of business goes far beyond the maximization of profit through different money-grabbing ploys. Instead, she likes to think that ethical principles should be at the core of every commercial venture, paving the way for much more balanced distribution of wealth on a global scale. You can check her out on LinkedIn.