How to Protect your Business by Saving on Energy Costs
Worried about the upcoming winter weather on your business?
In New England, then weather conditions can really put a dent on your business. For any retail companies, the winter storms impact potential customers from walking through your front door. For service companies, then weather conditions can make travel to clients and potential sales leads difficult for salespeople to attend. Plus, road conditions make commuting challenging for your employees (and childcare needs when schools close early). Luckily, technology helps keep employees, clients and customers in touch through virtual communications and e-commerce websites. However, there is another huge cost consideration that business owners need to understand…heating costs.
In fact, there are some studies that detail how important energy costs are on the bottom line.
When it comes to energy costs, [taking action] makes savings here makes enormous sense for business overall…the Carbon Trust has said that just a 20 percent reduction in energy consumption equates to increasing sales by around 5 percent, and not many business owners would sniff at that!
For business owners that manage their office buildings, then there are some simple ways to help control winter energy costs.
Most professionals understand that small things go a long way, so here are some do-it-yourself (DIY) actions to keep the warm air inside the building.
- Keep the doors closed.
- Close the blinds at night.
- Insulate the pipes and hot water tanks.
- Install radiator foils.
Another simple action relates to the pipes and radiators. If the pipes and radiator are near an external wall, then consider insulation and radiator foils. When in contact with an exterior wall, then cold wall will leach the heat out of the room. Radiator foils help reflect the heat and keep it inside the building.
Insulate! Insulate! Insulate!
If real estate professionals live and die by “location, location, location” then building managers have an equally profound saying “insulate, insulate, insulate.”
As we all know, cash is king. So, when looking at reducing energy costs, improper insulation is like watching your hard earned cash float out the front door.
The stats are quite alarming as 60% of heat loss occurs through building fabric.
What is building fabric? Simply, the materials that protect the building from the outside. About half of the heat loss occurs through windows and the roof.
The best part of insulation is it works year round (this is true for all buildings, including your home). Insulation is truly one of the best investments owners can make for long-term benefits.
Understand Airflow and Air Quality
The building airflow impacts the overall air quality and general environment.
First, what is airflow?
Simply, the natural path the air moves around the building. The major activities that generate airflow within a building are:
- human activities.
- ventilation systems.
- natural and/or chimney effects.
- temperature changes.
Immediately Deal with Any Issues
Although it is human nature to put off many tasks that do not have an immediate impact, it is important to deal with possible issues immediately.
In fact, like most things, a proactive approach works best. For business owners, particularly, if you serve customers on-site, then any building issues has a huge negative effect for your company. Preventative maintenance works to spot potential issues before they strike.
Consider an annual check up that aligns with a significant company date (not during busy season) to spot any issues before they turn into problems.
As you know, owners need to weigh the pros and cons of all possible projects prior to allocating resources. Building and office upgrades are likely no different because you need to know about the long term pay back period and ensure it makes sense for your company.
In general, here are some high level ways to prioritize any facilities projects.
- Stop Drafts and Air Leaks
- Insulate Attics
- Update Windows
- Insulate Walls
- Review Heating and Cooling System
Running a business is pretty hard (we know!), and understand you want (and need) to concentrate on projects that impact your customers and business. We attempt to avoid accounting at all times, so we understand the need to focus on your core competencies. Learn more specifics about reducing your office energy costs and feel free to contact us with any questions (for your office or home). For those interested in understanding their airflow, then ask about our energy audit.