A few practical steps can save your company money every month. 

Key takeaways

  • Commercial energy bills can be extremely costly.
  • It’s possible to reduce your costs with a few adjustments.
  • Installing energy-efficient lighting and appliances will help.
  • You can also integrate smart technology and an energy management program.

Energy bills generate a significant expense for all businesses. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, commercial energy expenditures in 2018 reached $141 billion, which averages to $23,900 per commercial property. Electricity accounts for 84% of total commercial energy expenses nationwide, costing American businesses $119 billion annually and making it a focal point for business owners. 

Energy expenses vary based on building size and type of business. Foodservice entities spend over $5.00 per square foot to power their commercial properties, while warehouses’ energy costs amount to less than $0.75 per square foot. 

Fortunately, whatever your company’s parameters, you can reduce your costs. Here’s a look at four practical tips for lowering your commercial energy bills.

1) Implement energy-efficient lighting

Because electricity comprises a major piece of annual energy bills, reduce consumption wherever possible. Invest in energy-efficient lighting; your lights will be turned on most of the day. 

The easiest way to lower your lighting expenses is switching to LED bulbs. These bulbs are about 90% more efficient than traditional incandescents. An Energy-Star-certified LED bulb only costs about $1.26 per year to power on average, compared to the $6.02 cost to use a halogen light.

In addition to upgrading light bulbs, reduce the time your lights are on by installing motion sensors, timers, and smart lighting systems. These options ensure lights aren’t on when not needed, significantly improving overall energy costs. 

If you’re interested in installing any of these energy-saving devices, Universal Electrical Services will expertly meet your needs, providing short- and long-term savings. 

2) Upgrade to energy-efficient appliances and systems

Lights are likely a central priority for reducing electricity usage, but your appliances and systems are also vital. Switching to available high-efficiency options lowering overall energy consumption – and related costs. 

In offices, “smart” power strips specify which electronic devices should be turned on and which can be switched off when no one is using them. Look for Energy-Star-certified equipment and have employees share equipment and devices when possible.

Foodservice businesses can implement energy-efficient refrigerators and freezers or retrofit existing equipment with anti-sweat door hear controls and variable speed evaporators. Adding doors to existing freezer displays also saves significant energy. 

It’s also possible to upgrade your electrical system with energy-saving “smart” panels and various other types of efficiency-boosting equipment.  These options work more efficiently and reduce waste, lowering your costs in the process. 

3) Conduct regular maintenance

The simplest way to reduce your commercial energy bills is by completing regular system maintenance. Putting your building on a regular maintenance schedule ensures efficient operation and helps identify potential energy drains common with older systems. 

A maintenance contractor will identify inefficiencies, including faulty wiring and loose connections. You can also ask for advice on what to do about outdated equipment — an upgrade might be the best option. 

Consistent professional maintenance performed by Universal Electrical Services ensures optimal system operation. We’ll identify and address any issues causing energy drains, saving you money in the process.  

4) Use smart technology and an energy management program

Finally, you might consider using technology to your advantage by investing in smart products or implementing an energy management program. These options allow you to automate energy-saving component use, eliminating work for your maintenance teams. 

For instance, a smart thermostat will automatically adjust the temperature to your preferences. You’ll establish a schedule for your air conditioning units or heat pumps, ensuring they aren’t running at full capacity when there’s no one in the building.

Many of these devices are Wi-Fi enabled, too, so a team member can adjust on the fly when necessary and monitor temperature and equipment use data. The more control you have, the easier it becomes to avoid overusing your heating and cooling devices. 

Implementing an energy management program might require an investment of time and resources, but it creates a conservation culture within your organization. These programs work; many businesses using them report consistent year-over-year savings

Universal Electrical Services offers energy audits for your commercial building so you can see your facility’s inefficiencies. With this information, you can develop an energy management program and leverage technology to reduce your costs as much as possible moving forward. 

Remember that tax incentives and rebates exist for energy-efficient upgrades. For example, you can use Form 3468 to claim an energy investment credit when switching to alternative energy.

Tax deductions are available to a maximum of $1.00 per square foot for commercial buildings that reduce energy usage by 50%, improving lighting, heating, cooling, hot water, and ventilation systems. Partial credits are available for buildings that achieve 25% or more in energy savings. 

Save money by optimizing your electrical system

With energy costs rising every year, upgrading your systems and appliances wherever possible makes sense. Universal Electrical Services can upgrade your lighting and other electrical systems and maximize your company’s energy efficiency to save you money. Contact Universal Electrical to book an appointment or receive a free quote on upgrading your electrical system.