Winter weather is right around the corner, and as the temperature drops energy consumption will rise. But by how much? There are steps you can take to make your business more energy-efficient and bring your energy bills down this winter. Here are our top tips for a warm, cozy, and energy efficient winter season.
Lock In Your Winter Rates
Energy rates can fluctuate with supply and demand, but yours don’t have to. Through UGI’s Winter Lock Program, you can maintain a consistent low energy rate throughout the cold season.
Know Your Numbers
Before you can effectively manage your energy usage, you’ll need to know how much energy you’ve been using to date. As Peter Drucker once wrote: “What gets measured gets managed.” That means that once you know what your baseline is, you can take steps to reduce it. You can obtain your historical usage information and copies of previous invoices from your utility’s website. If you’re a UGI EnergyLink customer, you have options to lock in your rate for an extended period of time, or to sign up for the Winter Lock Program.
Where Waste Happens
Now that you know your numbers, it’s time to identify where you may be wasting energy, or where there are opportunities for increased efficiency.
You can start by scheduling an energy audit with UGI Heating, Cooling, & Plumbing. We’ll come out to your place of business and do a visual inspection along with using infrared technology and blower door testing to discover opportunities for you to find efficiencies and save money.
High-tech options are also available, which put the power in your hands to understand exact patterns of energy use for your business. Technologies such as Panoramic Power can offer energy management solutions down to the level of each device. Through this system, wireless sensors are clipped onto circuit wires to capture real-time data, which you can view in an analytics platform to see how equipment is functioning and where efficiencies can be found. On average, the technology helps to save 12 percent for businesses.
Plug the Leaks
It’s a simple solution, but an effective one: look for drafts of cold air and plug them. Simple weather stripping and caulking can allow you to manage your ventilation more efficiently.
Control of the Heat
Turn your office temperature down one degree in winters. Just this one simple change can reduce power usage by up to 10%.
Upgrading to a programmable thermostat or smart thermostat can help as well, as they will manage and regulate the building temperature automatically, without relying on an employee to manage these daily adjustments.
Upgrade, Tune Up, and Maintain
Businesses with energy-efficient practices and equipment use 35 percent less energy than typical office buildings, according to the EPA. If your heating system is aging, it’s probably drawing unnecessary power and costing you extra money. If so, it may be time to replace it with ENERGYSTAR technology to work at maximum efficiency.
If you already have an ENERGYSTAR-qualified heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) system, maintenance is key to keeping it at peak performance. An annual maintenance contract can make seasonal tune-ups part of your business’ annual routine and help not only save money but also extend the life of your system. And remember to regularly change (or clean if reusable) HVAC filters every month. It’ll keep the heat flowing efficiently and improve the air quality, too.
Get Your Employees Thinking Green
Even with the most energy-saving technologies, you’re still not at peak efficiency if your people aren’t incorporating energy efficiency into their daily routines and habits. Check out ENERGYSTAR’s employee education toolkit, which includes everything you need to host a 30- to 60-minute education session, plus emails, posters, and tip cards to help reinforce the message.
That’s it – lock in your rates, measure your usage, look for and fix inefficiencies, and get your employees on board, too. With these small changes, you’ll be saving money and staying snug throughout those cold winter months!