Owning a business is hard work, but spending too much on your business’s energy bill can make it even harder. Many executives and managers may think twice before paying for equipment upgrades, citing high upfront costs or lack of time to research equipment alternatives. However, it is often more expensive and inefficient to continue using the same aging equipment rather than making the switch.
Companies that choose to make efficiency upgrades sooner rather than later can benefit by avoiding unexpected repairs, high energy consumption, and even dangerous workplace accidents.
Whether it’s replacing outdated incandescent lighting with energy-efficient bulbs, purchasing electric forklifts and charging stations to replace fuel-burning machines, or implementing high-efficiency variable speed motors, energy-conscious equipment upgrades can help your workplace in a multitude of ways.
Benefits of Upgrading Your Energy Equipment
- Improves workplace health and safety; upgraded equipment meets OSHA or EPA standards
- Reduces energy consumption, which saves money and reduces greenhouse gas emissions
- Improves load profile
- Lessens equipment downtime, which improves production
- Increases safety and productivity; upgrading to CFL or LED lighting improves brightness in facilities, which increases safety and productivity while using less power
- Creates a more comfortable climate for workers and customers; transitioning to more modern HVAC systems creates a more comfortable climate for workers and customers, also while using less energy
Don’t let the upfront cost of upgrading your equipment deter you from making the switch. With new and more efficient equipment, you will make up for the costs in the long run rather than letting your outdated, inefficient machines drain your budget. Additionally, it is better to upgrade your equipment before your old equipment stops working entirely.
Upgrades to Consider
- Replace traditional incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient lightbulbs such as halogen incandescent bulbs, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), or light-emitting diodes (LEDs).
- Dimmer switches are perfect for those times when you need a light level between “on” and “off.” Make sure to choose bulbs compatible with dimmer switches; halogens can pose a fire hazard.
- Install timers to help control when your lights turn on and off, and ensures you never pay for lighting when it’s not needed.
- Install motion sensors in areas that go unused for long periods of time, such as employee bathrooms or conference rooms
- Make the switch to natural gas
- Install a “smart” programmable thermostat
- Enroll in a UGI EnergyLink commercial energy plan that allows you to choose a preferred fixed rate, a monthly variable rate, or the Winter Lock program
Not all energy-efficient practices require major equipment upgrades. Improving your practices starts with a little research, or remembering to turn off non-essential equipment at the end of the day. Read on to learn more about extending the life of your equipment and reducing your business’s electric bill:
Energy-Efficient Practices to Save Money and Extend Your Equipment’s Life
- Check out UGI’s Commercial Energy Guides for downloadable industry-specific energy and safety tips
- Conduct routine maintenance on appliances
- Read up on how to better understand electric pricing
- Before leaving for the night, turn off all electric devices and computers that are not essential to your business
- Install smart meters to identify significant operating efficiencies or inefficiencies
- To help relieve your air conditioning unit, use fans to help circulate cool air
- Consider the seasons: Research how to reduce summer energy costs and how to prepare your business for colder weather
Keeping your business’s energy equipment up to date is essential, and knowing when it’s time to upgrade can help make a difference in your business’s daily operations—and in your electric bill. For more information on commercial energy tips, check out the Commercial Energy Tips section of our website, or give us a call at 1-800-427-8545.