The recent pandemic has been difficult for businesses, especially for mom and pop shops. According to a new report by Babson, 88 percent of small businesses have already exhausted the money they got from their paycheck protection program (PPP) loan. Two-thirds of them have already switched to different sources of revenue, but a lot of them also had to cut wages and furlough some of their workers. More employees are in danger of losing their jobs if their companies don’t have enough money to sustain them in the coming months. Companies have to find a solution to reduce business costs.
If you’re one of the business owners that are strapped for cash, you’re probably doing all you can to save money. One of the best ways to cut down on costs is to reduce what you pay for utility bills. You get to save cash with no adverse effects on your operations.
But where should you start?
Use Automation and Smart Appliances
If you’re still relying on manual modes to switch on/off or adjust the settings of your appliances, you may be missing out on potential energy savings. You could forget to turn off some lights or devices before you leave the office. Your air conditioning and heating system may be excessively cooling or heating your rooms. If you want to have better control of your system, use automation and smart appliances.
Some appliances and devices come with smart capabilities, which means that they can be accessed and controlled using your smart devices, like your tablet or smartphone. They can also be programmed to do a variety of things, such as turn on or off at a certain time or date.
Some appliances, like smart thermostats, also have sensors that automatically tell the system to make the room colder or hotter, depending on your preferred temperature. You could also get a building access control system, which can turn off every appliance and light in the office when you scan your card upon exit.
Repair or Upgrade Your Doors and Windows
Modern windows and doors have weather sealing that keeps outdoor air and other elements out when they’re closed shut. While these seals are made to last, they’re bound to wear out after years of opening and closing your doors and windows. When cold air makes its way in during winter, your heating system works harder to keep your rooms at your preferred temperature. This ultimately raises the price of your bills because you end up using more energy to heat your home.
Remedy this issue by fixing your weather seals. First, you need to find out if they’re actually damaged or worn out. These are located on the jambs and sashes, where your windows and doors meet the walls. They’re often made of plastic or rubber. Inspect them to see if they’re falling apart or not securely hugging your doors or windows. If this is the case, you may have to scrape the existing weather stripping off and replace it with a new one.;
When you visit your nearest hardware store, there are a variety of options. The easiest one to apply is the v-strip or “tension seal.” They’re made of durable plastic or metal strips that are folded into a “V” shape. You only need to cut them to your desired length, peel the backing, and stick them to the sides of your window and door jambs. If you want to use other materials like rubber, vinyl, or silicone, you may have to get the help of a professional, as they’re difficult to install.
Get Your Lights Right
Your office lights contribute about 5% to your energy budget. If you still use traditional incandescent bulbs, you may be wasting energy. According to the Department of Energy, over 90 percent of energy created by incandescent bulbs is given off as heat. Your best bet is just to turn them off during the day and let some natural light in. After all, a lot of employees do prefer getting their workplaces illuminated by the sun instead of having a shaded, gloomy office.
You could also replace your old lights with light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs. These use up to 75 percent less electricity than incandescent lighting. They’re also more durable, as they last up to 25 times longer than older bulb types. As such, you don’t have to worry about replacing them every few years. You save on energy and on equipment costs. Plus, they’re readily available in your nearest hardware store or online marketplaces like Amazon.;
Saving money in your business doesn’t mean you have to skimp on the quality or quantity of your products. Your utility bills take up a significant chunk of your business expenses. Do what you can to keep your fees low, especially during these trying times.