Operating from your own office has its perks. You’ve got your own space, your own business address, a dedicated place to meet clients, and you get to pick whichever coffee maker you want in your break room. However, after paying sky-high operating costs each month, you may be wondering if it would be better to run your small business from your garage.
We totally understand the struggle. Even small office buildings come with financial challenges, and reducing costs often brings the painful consequence of having to do without. However, there’s one surefire way to lower your overhead without impacting your daily workflow: change up the lighting. Implementing a few simple strategies for reducing lighting costs will not only save your business the extra cash but will also reduce your company’s carbon footprint. And that, my friends, is the real win-win.
Plant Some New Bulbs
We’re not talking daffodils here. We’re talking about retrofitting your existing fluorescents with bulbs that will actually save you money (and help save the planet). The easiest way to ensure your bulbs are working for your benefit is to replace your existing lighting with LED or CFL bulbs.
These energy efficient products are extremely long lasting, which makes up for the initial purchase cost. They also require far less wattage than a traditional incandescent bulb, which saves you money daily. While your office may not be blessed with abundant skylights, these bulbs may be the next best thing. It’s like dollar bills raining from the ceiling of your small business. Who wouldn’t want that?
If you’re not sure where to start with your retrofitting (or if you’d like to make a full switch with fixtures and all), you might want to consider an energy audit. Many utilities offer this service for free or at a discount for small businesses, and you might even be able to secure a grant from your state to cover this process. An energy audit will let you know where your office is using the most energy, and the experts will be able to provide you with a comprehensive and detailed plan for how you can improve your lighting strategy as well as many other operating costs.
Invest In Smarter Technology
If you want to take it a step further, let smart technology take the reins in reducing your office lighting costs. Some business owners desperately tape signs over every light switch in their office, begging employees to turn off the lights if they’re the last to leave a room. Some might even agonize over whether or not they remembered to flip every switch off before they left the office on a late Friday evening. A whole weekend of wasted lighting costs… I shudder to think of the wasted money.
Instead, with a small initial investment, you can bring your office into the 21st century (and reduce the amount of nagging you have to do). Installing light systems with motion sensors will help take the load off your shoulders, and rapidly advancing technology in this area means that motion sensor lighting is growing more accurate by the year. You may have noticed that universities and public school systems in your area have installed these systems in order to reduce electricity use, and that’s a trend that is likely to continue. Jumping on board now may bring a significantly higher ROI later.
Consider Turning Off The Lights
If you’re truly interested in reducing your lighting costs, you knew this one was coming. One major driver for electricity costs in office spaces of all sizes is personal behaviors. Making changes in this area may be the step you need in order to save even more on electricity.
First, consider how long your office lights remain on. If you’re burning the midnight oil more often than not, you may want to reconsider your operating strategy. Moving to a more standard 9 or 10-hour workday will not only impact your personal sleep and daily life schedule, but also carries the tangible benefit of significantly reducing your lighting costs. If you coordinate your operating hours with the off-peak times of your utility company when prices are lower, you may be able to save even more.
You may also want to consider offering your employees a telecommuting day. With video conferencing technology now-a-days, you can still get the same interpersonal benefit while collaborating from remote locations. Once weekly, biweekly, or monthly, you can declare a work-from-home day. The office will remain closed, lights off, and no AC running. This can be a great reward for your hardworking team, and can also save big bucks on your yearly overhead.
Make an Even Bigger Change for the Better
Between the daily savings generated by these strategies and the tax rebates or utility reimbursements your small business may now qualify for, you’re already well on your way to reducing your operating costs. However, a change in your base electricity rate can also make a major impact. If your small business is located in a state that offers deregulated electricity, you have the option to select your energy provider and potentially receive a better deal. Plus, with the right provider, you can choose a fixed rate plan that takes the guesswork out of your monthly bill.
Looking for a new supplier, but not sure where to start? At Liberty Power, we are dedicated to providing energy services to small businesses at a competitive rate. Reach out to us today to learn more about how a new electric company can significantly reduce your business operating costs—so you won’t have to wonder about working out of your garage ever again.