Energy Saving Ideas for Small and Medium Businesses

Whether it's heating and cooling, lighting, running office equipment or other machinery, your business benefits from clean, affordable, and environmentally responsible electricity from City Light. Saving energy and money is also critical to your bottom line. Check out these simple things you can do to conserve energy and save money.

Track Energy Usage and Costs

It pays to understand how your business is consuming energy. When you track your costs and pay attention to what is using the most energy you can take actions that reduce your usage. Simply turning appliances and equipment off when they are not in use or keeping up on routine maintenance can make a big difference in how much energy you use.

Want to assess your energy usage? Contact us at (206) 256-5200 or connect with us online to get started.

Maintain or Replace Equipment

If you find that equipment is not functioning properly, get it fixed quickly, or install more efficient equipment. This can help reduce the amount of energy used by failing or faulty equipment - saving you money.

Regular maintenance of energy-consuming equipment is critical to ensuring optimal energy efficiency and performance. Some key maintenance activities to include in your routine are:

  • Be sure all automatic controls are set and operating correctly.
  • Clean all filters in your heating and cooling system monthly.
  • Check and regularly clean filters if you use exhaust fans.
  • Caulk or weatherstrip any drafty doors or windows.
  • Remove unneeded light bulbs or use lower wattage bulbs.
  • Lower your water heater thermostat. Washington State law requires all new water heaters to be preset at 120 degrees Fahrenheit for safety. You may also want to consider a heat pump water heater. Contractors can help provide instant discounts on qualified equipment.
  • Adjust lighting timer controls to accommodate daylight savings time changes or install photocells to adjust automatically to changes in the season. Review and apply for 
  • Regularly clean and maintain food refrigeration equipment where applicable. Review and apply for a rebate for new commercial kitchen equipment.

Invest in Energy-Efficient Equipment

Newer, more energy-efficient equipment and appliances may cost a bit more but can result in greater savings by lowering your energy operation costs over the life of the appliance. Some suggested investments include:

  • Occupancy sensors in hallways, bathrooms, meeting rooms, kitchens, storage rooms, and other areas where lights can be shut off for blocks of time.
  • Photocells in outdoor entryways and security lighting to automatically sense outdoor lighting levels which turn on and off automatically.
  • Light-emitting diode (LED) exit signs in place of incandescent signs. LED signs last longer and use much less energy.

Modify Your Energy Use

By simply changing how you and your employees use energy, you can achieve significant savings - and it doesn't cost a thing. If you make these simple modifications, you could reduce your energy costs considerably.

  • Turn off lights, computers, and other office equipment when they are not in use. Create a process to ensure these items are switched off overnight and on weekends. Consider posting reminder labels throughout your office or space.
  • Lower your thermostat to the lowest comfortable setting when your business is occupied and set it even lower when it is unoccupied. Consider connected thermostats, giving you more control over your building's HVAC system.
  • In warmer months, raise your air conditioner to the highest comfortable setting. There should be at least 5 degrees Fahrenheit between heating and cooling setpoints.
  • Set back or turn off heating or air conditioning a little while before the end of your operating hours. Remember to maintain some heating in winter to prevent pipes from freezing.
  • Let the sun warm your office during colder months by opening drapes or blinds. Close them at night to retain heat stored during the day.
  • Remember to turn off outside safety and security lighting at the start of each day.
  • Keep doors and windows closed to prevent heat loss during winter or loss of cool air in summer. You could also keep doors and windows open to provide ventilation instead of using air conditioning in summer.

Find rebates and incentives for energy efficiency upgrades for small and medium businesses. For other tips or advice on saving energy for your business, contact our Small and Medium Business Customer Service team at (206) 256-5200 or connect with us online.