Conducting an energy assessment now will give you time to explore multiple energy-saving opportunities, as well as the available rebates, incentives, and financing options. If you know you want to cut operating costs and boost profit margins in 2016, then starting early will allow you to consider the options before you’re locked in to next year’s budget.
1. A one time investment in energy efficiency will permanently lower operating costs.
Take a look at next year’s budget. How much are you planning to spend on energy bills and building maintenance? If you could permanently reduce those costs, what would you do with the savings?
An efficiency upgrade can reduce energy bills by 25-40%, which can significantly cut overhead spending. Studies show that green retrofit projects can reduce aggregate operational costs by 8.5-19%. Minimizing overhead is one of the fastest ways to improve your bottom line without making compromises within your business, such as raising prices or reducing employee incentives. You will also benefit from increased comfort, productivity, and safety, reducing non-energy related expenses such as sick leave and health care costs.
2. Small commercial buildings have HUGE energy saving potential.
Utilities and governments have realized that the small commercial building sector offers tremendous energy saving potential. They are now making it easier for small-medium sized business owners to implement energy efficiency solutions through specialized financing options and incentive programs. Research suggests that the current potential for energy savings among small commercial buildings ranges from 27 – 59% of current energy use, depending on building type. If the utilities can make energy efficiency more accessible to small-medium sized businesses, it’s estimated that conservation investments can generate $30 billion in annual energy cost savings and improve the financial performance of millions of small businesses throughout the US.
3. Energy efficiency is a low-risk investment with predictable savings.
Implementing efficiency measures is a safe investment because you can easily determine savings through an energy audit. Comprehensive, whole-building audits provide more accurate projections as they are based on calculated energy measurements specific to your building. Plus, you’ll be able to see the quick payback and return-on-investment regardless of changes in sales volume.
4. Reduce energy without replacing costly equipment.
An energy efficiency upgrade doesn’t necessarily mean replacing old equipment. Retrofitting existing technology is often a better solution as it yields similar energy savings and extends the life of older equipment. Energy efficient retrofits can make upgrades more affordable, and reduce the amount of waste sent to the landfill.
In many cases, replacing or retrofitting costly equipment can be avoided altogether, as small improvements may make the system run more efficiently. For example:
- Energy efficient refrigerator motors produce 2/3 less heat, meaning coolers don’t have to work as hard to stay cold.
- Adding controls to refrigerator evaporator fans will cut the fan’s energy use by 60% and reduce wear and tear on the equipment.
- Switching to LED bulbs can significantly reduce light-generated heat gain by 50%, so the HVAC system will work less to cool the same amount of space.
- Installing a cool or white roof coating can save up to 15% of annual air conditioning energy use, significantly reducing wear and tear on the HVAC system.
- Energy efficient solar window film can also reduce cooling costs by up to 30%.
5. EES Consulting’s average energy efficiency project’s kWh savings is equivalent to avoiding 1,027,200 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions.
Studies show that 87% of consumers prefer to do business with environmentally conscious companies, and 55% are willing to pay more for products and services produced by such companies. Reducing energy bills means reducing your carbon footprint, which can make a big statement to existing and potential customers. The enhanced public image that comes with energy efficiency can be a powerful tool for boosting sales, increasing brand awareness, and attracting and retaining your best talent.
Get a head start on 2016 and download the free building checklist to see if your business is a good candidate for energy efficiency improvements.