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18 ways to save your business energy and money this summer

Save energy and money

If you're looking for ways to save energy and money that don't require a major investment, all you need to do is keep reading. The following tips can help your business — and Mother Earth — come out ahead.

    Day-to-day operations

  1. Check your electricity rate options to see if a time-varied rate could help your business save money on utility bills. Your utility can help you analyze your energy usage and choose the best rate plan.
  2. Close off unused rooms. Shut the doors and close the vents in rooms no one is using to reduce the space you need to cool.
  3. Stop vampire (standby) power. Leaving charged smartphones, laptops and other small electronics plugged in wastes power and can damage the battery. A power strip makes it easy to turn everything off with one click.
  4. Cooling and ventilation

  5. Draw curtains or blinds to keep direct sunlight from shining into rooms. It'll keep employees cooler and lower your utility bill. Or use solar screens or solar film to prevent heat from radiating through glass windows.
  6. Regularly clean or change HVAC filters during peak cooling season to improve indoor air quality and help prevent burnout of your equipment. Clogged, dirty filters obstruct air flow and can reduce the system's performance. Regular cleaning can lower your energy consumption 5 to 15 percent.
  7. Use a programmable thermostat to raise the temperature when no one is present and lower it when people are working. Consider installing a locking cover to prevent employees from tinkering with the setting. If you don't have a programmable thermostat, make it someone's job to set the thermostat higher at the end of the workday.
  8. Lighting

  9. Reduce electric lighting. Take advantage of natural daylight as much as possible, use task lighting instead of overhead lighting and light only those areas that are needed at the time.
  10. Turn off lights when you leave a room or install automatic, occupancy sensor room-lighting controls to turn lights on or off depending on occupancy or time of day.
  11. Install Energy Star-labeled LED exit signs. They use much less electricity, require less maintenance and last up to 25 years. LED exit signs can also enhance safety since they're brighter than comparable incandescent or fluorescent signs.
  12. Office equipment

  13. Be sure your employees shut down computers and other equipment, such as printers, copiers, monitors, etc. at the end of every workday.
  14. Using power-saving modes on computers. A computer idling in "sleep" mode uses less than half the power of an active computer.
  15. As computers are replaced, swap out desktop computers for laptops. Desktop computers use significantly more energy than laptops with the same processing capabilities. You can add docking stations so employees can use laptops with a keyboard, mouse and monitor, if desired.
  16. Replace personal printers with network printers. Personal printers, when not in use, have standby losses that accumulate to high energy consumption and wasted funds each year. Employees who need to print confidential documents can use password protected network printers.
  17. Food service equipment

  18. Adjust your refrigerator's temperature. The colder you keep it, the more energy it uses. Set it between 35 and 38 degrees.
  19. Fill your freezer. An empty freezer requires more energy to stay cold. If you don't have enough food to fill the freezer, keep frozen containers of water in it.
  20. Fill the dishwasher completely before running it. A full dishwasher uses less water and energy per dish.
  21. Capital expenses

  22. If your business is constructing or renovating a building or purchasing equipment, you may qualify for utility company incentives when you make energy efficiency a top priority. Energy Upgrade California can also help you find rebates and incentives.
  23. Banking

  24. Using Direct Business Internet Banking and Business Mobile Banking from California Bank & Trust can cut down trips to the branch, saving you energy and money. Start saving today!
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The information contained herein may not represent the views and opinions of California Bank & Trust, a division of ZB, N.A. or its affiliates. It is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice.
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