For small businesses, the pandemic is posing unique challenges and financial hardships. One way to trim costs is to perform an energy audit at your place of business. An energy assessment can help determine where your business can be more energy efficient and cut unnecessary energy-related expenses. Conducting a simple, top-level energy assessment can help you lower your carbon footprint and energy costs by recognizing inefficient systems and equipment and making changes. Even saving small amounts of energy can help reduce utility bills at a time when every penny counts.
The first step of an energy assessment is to understand how your business uses energy. Did you know that SDG&E offers online tools to show your daily energy use, costs and patterns when you sign up for My Account? Although it won’t be as thorough as a professional audit, you’ll be able to spot the tell-tale signs of energy waste. Enroll or log in to SDG&E’s My Account at sdge.com/myaccount.
Take a quick tour of your premises. Check for air leaks around doorways and windows, identify the types of light bulbs you use, examine your electronics and inspect your insulation – which is an effective and long-term way to improve energy efficiency. Assess the age and condition of your lighting and HVAC systems. Take notes of each issue you find and prioritize the ones that need to be tackled first, within your budget.
Consider these energy-saving adjustments:
- Take the temperature of your workplace. Set your thermostat to 68 degrees (or lower) in the winter and 78 degrees in the summer.
- Check on unused equipment and small appliances and unplug them when not in use. Only use the printer when you absolutely need to do so.
- Be aware of lights on in unoccupied areas. Install occupancy sensors, dimmers and timers.
- Check your light bulbs. Are you using LEDs or older, less efficient bulbs?
- Locate air leaks and drafts – check windows, doors, skylights and other areas.
- Change air filters regularly – check your filters and replace them if they look dirty.
- Be sure to turn off computers and other office equipment at the end of the day or when not in use.
- Become a certified green business! Look into San Diego’s Regional Green Business Network (GBN) at gov/green-business-network. Members can access resources to help improve energy and water efficiency.