Most business owners don’t pay close attention to utility bills. In the mind of many business owners, the cost must be paid at the rate dictated by utility companies. However, you can have control over the amount of money you pay as utility bills. Things like wrong rate bill classifications and wrong tariffs can make you pay more money.
Moreover, there is something beyond the act of just paying diligently your utility bill. Companies especially large corporations must also strive to lead better examples. They obviously consume more energy than the common folk. About 90% of the companies are to blame for most of the climate change. And many of them are failing to meet their own targets for tackling climate change. Unfortunately, some even exaggerate or misreport their progress.
To become a responsible business owner, in this guide you will learn the tips and tricks for keeping your utility costs low.
Review Your Utility Contracts
The Covid-19 pandemic was a disaster, pushing many companies to embrace remote work. According to many people, employees working from home means spending less on utilities. However, this isn’t the case. According to research, many companies—especially the deregulated ones—were forced to embrace long-term-based utility contracts.
Typically, these contracts come with tough terms. For instance, the consumption clauses dictate that you pay more if you consume less than you used to consume. Thus, it’s important to review all your contracts. Go through contracts that are due for renewal. If possible, switch to a better supplier through Utility Bidder.
Change Rate Class
Most companies have a provision where customers can change their rate class. Rate class depends on your usage, type of industry, and location. As a general rule, your utility company will place you in a default rate class similar to customers in your industry. However, it’s important to note that there are rate classes specific to your explicit industry. Trying to change your rate class can help you based on utility costs.
Energy audits are designed to show you spend energy in your company. They help you identify areas you can cut down the costs. Energy audits involve looking at consumption. You can opt for more specialized audits. Specialized audits require on-site visits.
Some companies fail to realize the benefits of energy audits. Maybe because one of the most common misconceptions that people have about energy audits is that it is time-consuming and futile. In reality, these can help provide your company with useful insights, both financially and environmentally. These benefits include lower consumption, reduced energy costs, improved carbon emissions, and compliance with regulations. Energy audits make your company look good and responsible as you are also taking the necessary steps to protect the environment.
If you are worried about the costs it takes to do an energy audit, there are rebates, tax credits, grants and loans, and other incentives available. Talk to your local utility company to learn more.
Besides cost saving, energy audits can help correct billing errors. If you have been getting the wrong bills, report the issue to your energy supplier. Discrepancies like wrong meter reading, incorrect class, overlapping dates, etc. are key errors that can be corrected by energy audits.
A spiking bill can also be an indication that something might be going wrong such as a leaking/ running toilet or faucet, faulty equipment, poor insulation, defective or old wiring, or troubles with the circuit breaker. While some of these can be easily solved, such as upgrading to new equipment, it’s still best to seek help from professionals as you could get hurt and might do more damage than good.
Bring in a consultant to advise you on how to save. For instance, a consultant can go through your consumption clause and renegotiate the agreement. With highly specialized energy management skills, these consultants can institute measures that can cut down energy consumption in your company.
Hiring an energy consultant is highly valuable especially if you are operating a large business with relatively complex energy usage. But this doesn’t mean small businesses don’t need one. Even small-scale businesses can benefit from seeking advice from an energy consultant. These professionals, regardless of the size of your business and the industry you operate, can help you give a fresh perspective to meeting the energy goals that you might haven’t realized.
If you are planning on hiring one, here are some qualities to look for in an energy consultant:
- Licenses and certifications according to your state
- Excellent record of past success experiences
- Well-rounded skills set and team
- Upfront information about services
- Personalized service
Involve Your Employees
Since a company consists of its employees, why not also involve these people in your energy-saving plan? You can educate them. For example, let them know the difference between extension cords and surge protectors. Both might be similar but surge protectors, just like their name, protect gadgets and appliances from spikes and surges. This newfound knowledge not only applies to the office but also to their household as well, making it becoming personal for them.
Another thing you can do is post energy-saving tips in high-traffic areas such as the break room. Remind them to turn off the microwave when not in use, to close the refrigerator door properly, or to turn off the faucet tightly.
Here are additional energy-saving tips worth trying:
- Conduct a nighttime energy audit
- Use stairs
- Fix all air leaks
- Using power strips will save you energy
- Office electricity prices
According to the data from the EIA, it’s estimated that more money will be spent on electricity in 2022 than in the other previous years. It estimates that inflation will increase what people pay per kilowatt-hour. If your business is trying to recover from the shockwaves of Covid-19, things can be challenging. However, this can be changed. Follow the above tips and tricks to bring down the cost of utility bills in your home or company.