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Keep the lights on: 6 ways to be an energy-efficient SME

Not only will energy efficiency help your bottom line, but it will also contribute to keeping the country’s energy grid stable. But how can you be energy efficient in your SME? Let’s look at six ways to boost your efficiency.

WAY 1: Do an energy audit

Take a walk through your business and see how energy is used throughout your business. Look at the machines, computers and appliances used in your business. Check for areas where heat or cold can escape. By doing an energy audit, you can identify the areas where a change will be most beneficial to your business becoming energy efficient

WAY 2: Change your lightbulbs

LEDs or compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) light bulbs can be used to decrease your energy consumption. Furthermore, these light bulbs last longer than incandescent light bulbs. One downside of CFLs is that they use mercury in the production of the bulb and therefore need to be disposed of carefully. They are also not very effective with dimmer switches. As for LEDs, they can be expensive, but you could make your money back from the initial expense because they last longer than incandescent bulbs.

You could also invest in battery-operated lightbulbs which will work when the lights go out due to a disruption in the power grid.

WAY 3: Switch off lights and office equipment

Where possible switch off the lights in offices and other rooms which aren’t in use. You could install a motion detector that activates the light when someone walks into the room. As for office equipment, at the end of the day switch off all the equipment that is not needed when you are out of the office. If you can’t switch off desktop computers, then shut the monitor off to save some electricity. If you have scanners and printers, try to link them on an energy strip and then switch off the whole strip at the end of the day.

WAY 4: Harness the sun

If you have a sunny area where you work, then don’t put on the light. Use the natural light to work. You could also install skylights to get more exposure to the sun.

Another way to harness the sun is to install solar panels. This device can supplement your current energy grid when there is a disruption. Solar can also be stored in batteries. Another benefit is that you can get a tax deduction for the solar system that you have installed at your office.

WAY 5: Use energy-saving equipment

Look for the energy efficiency label on the equipment you use in your business. You should use laptops as they lose less energy than desktop computers. By moving to energy-efficient equipment, you will not only save a lot on your bottom line, but you will also be looking after the environment.

WAY 6: Adjust the landscape around your office

Do you have to take care of the gardens around your office? If so, maybe plant a tree near your building to offer shade in the summer and protect against winds in the winter. By planting a garden which helps to warm and cool your building, you will be able to save on electricity in the long run.

By incorporating one or two of these ways to becoming energy efficient, you will increase your bottom line and you will contribute to society as a whole by being less of a burden on the national energy grid. If you installed solar you may also be able to add to the grid too.

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