Managing your energy use can substantially add to your company’s bottom line. Whether it’s adjusting your thermostat or investing in energy-efficient equipment, you can be in control of how much electricity and natural gas your business uses.

Here are a few easy ways you can cut back on energy use and save.

1. Turn down the thermostat.

Keep your thermostat between 65 degrees and 70 degrees during the winter months and turn it down when your business is closed to save energy. Smart thermostats automate these efforts, allowing you to program and monitor temperatures. Some smart thermostats can even offer analytics to help you understand how much energy you’re using and where you may be losing some.

You should also make sure your building is properly insulated. Use weatherstripping and caulking to prevent cold air from entering and warm air from leaving the building. Also, open blinds and drapes to let the sun in on winter days. At night, close them to help hold heat inside.

2. Inspect your water heater.

Beyond heating and cooling, water heaters are another common area that causes businesses to lose energy. Fixing any leaks from your water heater and setting the water temperature to 110 to 120 degrees will prevent unnecessary heating. And, wrapping your water heater in a water heater blanket will help it run more efficiently. You can also install water flow restrictors on water faucetsin your building to reduce hot water use.

3. Look for ENERGY STAR® certified equipment.

Computers and other electronic equipment can contribute up to 20 percent of overall energy consumption in office buildings (according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration). Buying ENERGY-STAR® certified computers, printers and copiers will ensure you’re using the most energy-efficient equipment in your office, business or organization. These products use less energy while in operation and automatically enter a low-power mode when not in use, which means less energy is wasted when devices are accidentally left on. You also can save energy by unplugging equipment that’s not in use and using smart power strips, which can power devices on or off based on a set time or occupancy sensors.

4. Take advantage of free energy-savings tools.

Upgrading equipment — whether office or HVAC — is always ideal for achieving energy goals, but it takes a holistic effort that includes education, repairs, tune-ups and behaviors, as well. Identifying where you may be losing energy at your business is the first step. Online energy-savings calculators can help you estimate the potential cost and energy reduction of upgrading to more efficient equipment, and your energy company’s website can be a valuable resource. Some energy providers also offer business-specific tips, energy newsletters, free consultations and training opportunities to help you identify ways to save and keep energy conservation top of mind. These are easy ways to start cutting back on energy use and lowering your bill.

5. Consult with your local energy company.

Talking with your energy provider is the best way to pinpoint energy-saving measures unique to your business or facility. Your electric or natural gas company can consult with you or conduct an audit of your building, office equipment, HVAC systems, water heaters and other common (or hidden) areas where you may be using excess energy. From there, the company’s advisers can make recommendations on everything from light bulbs

to renovations.

Want to learn more about ways to save on your energy bill? Contact an energy adviser, and they’ll point you in the right direction. Visit http://ow.ly/oXEi50G0Wkd for more details.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Insight Publications, LLC.