By Alexander Goldstein of Eligo Energy
Opening and operating your own business is by no means cheap. There are a number of different important fixed and variable costs that you’ll always have to pay, including rent, salaries, insurance, maintenance and utilities, which, when added up can come out to a lot of money. So when there’s an opportunity to save major bucks, wouldn’t you want to take it?
(Photo courtesy of Alexander Goldstein)
I figure that any business owner would answer the above question with a resounding “Yes, of course I want to save money when and where possible.” Here is a small checklist of things you can do to ensure that your energy bill remains low so you can put your money to better use, improve the business, employ top talent and make yourself more profitable.
Conduct a light audit
Did you know that lighting accounts for nearly 30 percent of your energy bill? Because LED lights consume 80 percent less energy that traditional light sources, and they last 40 times longer, switching all of your lights to LED bulbs can stop you from wasting energy, which ends up reducing your energy bill. There are tons of companies that will offer a free lighting audit. Check online for local companies willing to conduct an audit of your offices so you can minimize your lighting bill and maximize your savings.
LEDs also have the potential for tremendous and attractive returns on investment, sometimes even better than what you’ll see from a real estate or stock market investment. Additionally, utility companies continue to increase rebates to retrofit to LED lighting sometimes covering nearly 100 percent of the cost. In addition, the federal government continues to outlaw less efficient lighting (incandescent, halogen, etc.) each year. And as final added bonus, they’re environmentally friendly with no mercury.
Lock in your energy rate
By dealing directly with your energy supplier, you can lock in favorable rates for up to three years on your energy bill. Even as the market price for energy moves up, your rates will remain the same. Oil prices reached historic lows in 2015. As a business, you have the distinct advantage of locking in rates for electricity and natural gas. By dealing directly with an energy supplier, you can lock in favorable terms for up to three years. Even as the market moves up (and it will eventually), you can pay a lower rate and save up to 20 percent.
Adopt an energy storage system
Elon Musk once said, “Solar and batteries will power ALL our future’s energy needs.” Until that happens, there is plenty you can do to be a part of that amazing transformation in the energy space. With so many current innovations being introduced into the energy storage market, right now is a great time to take advantage of cost-saving opportunities.
On your energy bill, the utility company calculates what to charge you based on your peak consumption of energy. Since delivery can cost up to 60 percent of your bill, wouldn’t you jump on the opportunity to adopt a system of automatically storing energy? Batteries enable you to access unused energy when you need it which then offers you the ability to lower your rates.
Alexander Goldstein is founder and CEO of Eligo Energy — a technology-based energy retailer based in Chicago. He is a serial entrepreneur and investor focused on applications of technology and big data analytics to new industries.
The views, opinions and positions expressed within this guest post are those of the authors alone and do not represent those of CBS Small Business Pulse or the CBS Corporation. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this article are verified solely by the authors.