10 Energy-Saving Tips for Small Business Owners

Are you a small business owner struggling with the high cost of electricity? You’re not alone. We understand the importance of keeping costs under control. Together, let’s take steps towards a more sustainable and cost-effective future with these 10 energy-saving tips.

Some strategies may not apply to your unique business, but they all can potentially lower the cost of your power bill immediately. While some upgrades need a modest investment, many are free and accessible to all. 

Here are our top 10 energy-saving tips for small business owners.

1. Invest in LED Bulbs

BC Hydro has determined that lighting is the largest energy drain for most small businesses. Thankfully, it’s one of the easiest energy-saving upgrades to make. By swapping your lightbulbs for LEDs, you’ll use up to 80 percent less electricity. Since the return on investment is usually rapid, this upgrade earns first place on our list.

2. Use Less Light

Use less light by installing dimmers to reduce light levels where appropriate. You could also remove light bulbs from fixtures where less light can be tolerated. Each lumen saved contributes to electricity savings.

3. Use Task Light

Opting for one LED task lamp uses significantly less electricity than a room with overhead lights. And whenever possible, aim to use natural light as an energy-efficient alternative.

4. Install Sensors

Save energy by installing sensors in break rooms, washrooms, and storerooms. The sensors automatically shut off the lights when the space isn’t in use. Occupancy sensor switches are a cost-effective way to get significant energy savings.

5. Exit Signs

Since exit signs are always on, switching regular bulbs for LEDs will lead to a noticeable reduction in energy use.

6. Eliminate Standby Use

Electronics, appliances, and other equipment draw standby electricity when switched off. Make a point of unplugging these items overnight or when not in use as this can save you up to 10 percent on your electricity bill.

7. Save on Electric Hot Water

Insulate your hot water tank and wrap exposed hot water pipes with foam insulation to retain heat. This will allow you to turn your tank’s thermostat down and reduce electricity use.

8. Improve Summer Cooling Efficiency

Warmer temperatures increase electricity bills because it takes more energy to cool down your space. Here are some tips to reduce energy use in the summer months:

  • Install outdoor shades instead of indoor blinds on south-facing windows to keep out the heat.
  • Make a point of closing doors and turning off air conditioning in unoccupied rooms.
  • Switch off appliances that aren’t in use.
  • Keep HVAC equipment clean and serviced to maximize efficiency.

9. Improve Winter Insulation

Electricity bills also increase as you warm up your space for the winter. Here are some tips to reduce your bill and keep the heat in:

  • Seal cracks and gaps around exterior doors and windows to keep heat loss at bay.
  • Close doors or turn off the heating in unoccupied rooms.
  • Avoid over-ventilating as this removes the heat you paid to generate.

10. Update Your Electronics

Upgrade equipment to more energy-efficient technology to save on your electricity bill. For example, switching desktop computers for laptops.

Make a habit of regularly checking your company’s power use on your energy provider’s website. Note which upgrades impact your energy bill most and focus on expanding those strategies. Remember, these small changes can lead to big savings in the long run. Aim to implement one thing at a time and watch as your power bills shrink and your profit margins rise.

How Small Business BC Can Help Your Business

SBBC is a non-profit resource centre for BC-based small businesses. Whatever your idea of success is, we’re here to provide holistic support and resources at every step of the journey. Check out our range of business webinars, on-demand E-Learning Education, our Talk to an Expert Advisories, or browse our business articles.