Energy Efficiency & Sustainability Consulting

Four Big Bills You Can Cut in 2015


New profit cost graphAre you looking for ways to cut costs in your operations? At one time or another, all business owners find themselves looking to reduce operating expenses. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to cut your spending without impacting your core business. Small changes to trim fat now can help avoid the need for deeper, more painful cuts in the future.

Energy and resource efficiency are key ways you can quickly and easily reduce costs with little to no impact on current operations. Some of the key areas to attack first are utilities (electricity, gas, water) and waste management (waste and recycling) costs.

Electricity Bills

  • Switch to energy efficient bulbs
    Replacing inefficient bulbs, like incandescents or metal halide, with more efficient lighting like LEDs is a huge energy saver. Not only will they use less energy but they will also introduce less heat into the building, keeping your customers and employees more comfortable.
  • Upgrade inefficient equipment
    Equipment like HVAC units and refrigeration represent a large portion of your total electric consumption. These units are often oversized and older units can be very inefficient. By retrofitting this equipment with energy efficient technologies, they will run more efficiently, last longer and use less energy.
  • Switch off unused lights
    While LED lights use considerably less energy than older technologies, they do still use some energy. By installing occupancy sensors, you can be sure that electricity consumption is not being wasted on an empty room.
  • Shop for a lower electricity rate
    You could be paying a much higher rate than you think. By shopping around and analyzing your electricity bill, you may find that you save hundreds by just switching providers. Reducing consumption AND reducing your rate can yield huge savings.

Water Bills

  • Install low-flow toilets and faucets
    On average, water costs about $8 per thousand gallons of water. Older toilets use five gallons per flush and older faucets use five gallons per minute. That means that with older technology, every flush and every minute a faucet is running costs about five cents. In addition to savings on water costs, you may also save an equal percentage on sewer charges.
  • Only pay for in-use water
    It doesn’t matter whether or not the water that is consumed on a daily basis in your building actually gets used for it’s end purpose; you still have to pay for it. Installing touchless sink and toilet valves will help ensure that water is running only for the time it needs to be running, reducing your water bill by as much as 85%.
  • Insulate hot water pipes
    How much water is wasted waiting for hot water to reach the faucet? That is money literally pouring down the drain. Insulating hot water pipes will keep the water in the pipes warmer, decreasing the time you wait for hot water to arrive.

Natural Gas Bills

  • Insulate hot water heater and hot water pipes
    Insulating your hot water heater is just as important as insulating the walls in your building. Insulation with an R-value of at least 24 will help keep the heat where it belongs- in your water heater. Pipe insulation will not only help reduce the amount of water used, but more importantly, will reduce the cost of heating the water, particularly in re-circulating systems.
  • Put your boiler on a diet
    Older boilers typically have simplistic controls to manage heating cycles. Retrofitting with intelligent controls can allow your boiler to meet hot water demand while saving up to 15% more on heating costs. Changing environmental conditions can also make it difficult for boilers to operate at top efficiency, adding significant costs to operations. Installing modern technologies to optimize boiler efficiency can lower operating costs 15-30%, extend the life of the boiler and help lower maintenance costs over the life of the equipment.
  • Reduce temperature on water heaters
    Most water heaters are set to 140 degrees by default. This is about 20 degrees higher than necessary. By lowering the thermostat, you will use less gas to meet your hot water demand.
  • Shop for a lower gas rate
    As with electricity, you may be able to contract with a lower cost alternative provider for your gas.

Waste Management Bills

  • Separate recycled items
    Commercial garbage is primarily composed of recyclable materials. Separating recyclable items from your garbage will not only save you a load in landfill fees, it will also help the planet by reducing the need for new landfills.
  • Shop your service
    You may be able to get a better rate for the services you need.

To find out more about how energy efficiency can save you BIG money on your bills, click here to contact your local EES Consulting office.