How to Save on Your Monthly Electric Bill By Making Simple Changes to Your Commercial Electrical System

How to Save on Your Monthly Electric Bill By Making Simple Changes to Your Commercial Electrical System

Running a business with high energy costs can quickly eat into your bottom line. However, making some simple changes to your commercial electrical system can lead to significant savings on your monthly electric bill. Here are some tips on reducing your business's energy usage and saving money.

Conduct an Energy Audit

The first step is to understand where and how your business is using electricity. Consider conducting an energy audit to identify areas of waste and inefficiency.

Examine Your Lighting

Lighting accounts for a large portion of a commercial building's electricity usage. Switch to LED bulbs wherever possible, as they use at least 75% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs and last 25 times longer.

Also, install occupancy sensors, timers, and dimmers to ensure lights are only on when needed. Grouping lighting by zones gives you greater control over usage as well.

Finally, clean fixtures and replace old bulbs to maximize efficiency. Just those simple lighting changes can reduce lighting electricity usage by 30-80%.

Look at HVAC and Water Heating

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) also consume a lot of energy. Set thermostats to 68°F in winter and 78°F in summer to save money. Install a smart thermostat that adjusts temperature based on occupancy patterns.

For water heating, set the temperature to 120°F and insulate pipes to reduce standby heat loss. Consider installing tankless water heaters that only heat water on demand.

Check for Air Leaks and Insulate

Cracks and gaps in the building envelope can lead to significant energy loss from heating and cooling escaping. Improve insulation in walls, attics, and basements. Also, install weather stripping around doors and windows.

Look Into Energy Efficient Equipment

When old equipment like refrigerators, freezers, furnaces, and air conditioners need replacing, buy ENERGY STAR certified models. Newer equipment incorporates better insulation, motors, compressors, and fans that use less power.

Also consider upgrading to variable speed motors and drives on equipment like pumps which let you precisely match speed to load and save energy.

Take Advantage of Incentives and Rebates

Many utility companies offer rebates and incentives for upgrading to more efficient lighting, HVAC, refrigeration, and other systems. Check with your utility to see what programs are available. Local, state, and federal governments also offer tax credits, rebates, and loans for energy efficiency improvements. Taking advantage of these can offset upgrade costs.

Consider On-Site Generation

Installing on-site renewable energy generation like solar panels, combined heat and power (CHP), or wind turbines allows you to supply some or all of your own electricity needs. While requiring an upfront investment, on-site generation hedges against utility rate hikes and reduces grid electricity purchases. Plus, any excess power produced can be sold back to the grid.

Monitor Usage and Trends

Once you've implemented energy efficiency measures, continue to track usage through energy management software or advanced metering systems. This allows you to identify anomalies, optimize settings, and verify energy savings over time. You can even implement building automation systems to automatically adjust settings for optimal efficiency.

With some diligence and commitment to energy efficiency, you can realize substantial savings on monthly utility bills for your commercial building. The payback period on upgrades may be faster than you think, so consider consulting with energy professionals to start strategizing your next steps. Small changes can have a big financial impact.