Small Businesses: Don’t Let High Energy Costs Burn through Your Profits this Summer

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Small businesses spend a whopping $60 billion a year on energy costs, EnergyStar reports. With scorching summer temperatures, it’s a sure bet most of Texas’ small businesses would welcome tips for trimming the amount they spend to cool their offices, storefronts, warehouses, etc.

Fortunately, as a small business owner, you can do a lot to ensure you don’t burn up your profits on cooling costs. Keeping your heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system  in peak working order is an important step. The Small Business Administration says HVAC systems account for about 40 percent of the electricity used in commercial buildings, and improving their efficiency can be an effective cost-cutting measure.

You should also stay diligent about having your business’ HVAC system regularly serviced by a qualified professional – at least twice a year in spring and fall. Additionally, do your part by cleaning and changing filters when needed. Keeping your HVAC system in good shape helps ensure it can cool effectively.

If your HVAC system is 10 years old or more, it’s likely not as efficient as a newer model would be. Technology has advanced in the past decade, and the SBA says a modern air conditioner can use 30 percent to 50 percent less energy than an older unit. Replace your energy-gobbling dinosaur of an air conditioner, and your new one could pay for itself in short order via significant reductions in your utility bill.

Assuming you’ve taken care of your system, your next cost-cutting step should be to look for ways to reduce usage in your business environment. That means decreasing demand and lowering the amount of heat generated by common office equipment like computers, printers and copiers.

Use a programmable thermostat to control the temperature by cycling A/C back when the office is vacant and then lowering the temp again to a comfortable temperature during business hours. Ask employees to power off electronic devices at the end of the work day and set them to automatically go into sleep mode when not in use for a prolonged period during the day. These steps will trim the amount of electricity the devices use and reduce the amount of heat they generate – heat that makes your air conditioner work harder to keep the building cool.

For more ways to maximize the efficiency of your HVAC system, save energy and cut utility costs, check out the SBA’s website. Also, visit TXU Energy’s website today to sign up for electricity for your business.