If you’re looking for ways to shore up the bottom line of your business, don’t forget to take a look at your utility bills. Utilities are a large expenditure for most businesses, but the good news is that they’re easy to reduce. Here are six surefire ways to lower your energy consumption to reduce your utility bills.


    1. Use lighting controls

    You can reduce your electricity bill by up to 40 percent and enjoy considerable savings on your gas bill by investing in “smart” controls for your business. Occupancy sensors in the bathrooms, conference room, and break areas will keep the lights off until someone enters. Daylight dimming controls reduce the amount of light–and therefore electricity–needed when natural light is flooding through the windows.


    2. Install smart appliances


    One of the most expensive utilities in Idaho is water. Smart appliances are programmable, enabling you to control the settings on a daily basis. Some smart thermostats “learn” a schedule based on how you use it. Smart Controller’s irrigation technology responsively sets sprinklers depending on weather conditions. Centralized energy controllers can set lights and door locks to follow a recurring schedule, cutting down on power bills and security costs. Whether you get a simple model or one that sends reports of your energy consumption habits, smart appliances can shave 15 percent off your heating and cooling bills.


    3. Create an energy plan

    Create an energy policy for employees to follow. Ask them to avoid energy-intensive activities whenever possible during high-demand periods, when you’re charged more for electricity. Have employees use the hibernate feature on their computers at the end of the day and on the weekends. Avoid making unnecessary photocopies, and switch off printers, scanners, and other desktop equipment when not being used.


    4. Swap out the light bulbs

    light bulb

    LED and CFL light bulbs consume far less electricity and last up to ten times longer than fluorescent and incandescent bulbs. You can reduce your lighting consumption by up to 75 percent and increase the lifespan of your fixtures by investing in Energy Star CFLs or LEDs.


    5. Buy energy-efficient devices

    The Energy Star label helps you choose the most efficient device for your budget. Use the label to compare the energy usage of everything from the fridge, coffee pot and microwave to computers, monitors, printers, and copy machines. While Energy Star-certified devices cost a little more up front, they save you big in the long-run.


    6. Seal air leaks

    If your office is drafty, you’re losing money. Air leaks drive up your heating and cooling costs and reduce the comfort level for you and your employees. Seal air leaks around the office with weather-stripping and caulk. Install door sweeps on exterior doors, and check service, pipe, and vent entrances for large gaps or cracks to fill.