Businesses can easily rack up hefty energy bills, considering their hours of operation and the quantity of space they utilize. On average, commercial properties spend $1.34 per square foot on electricity.

Learn to cut costs where it counts with these four tips.

1. Align Security and Energy Management Initiatives

Leaving lights on is a good way to deter criminals, as it creates the illusion that someone could still be inside the store or business. However, consistently leaving your lights on can add up in utility costs. Lighting represents roughly one-third of electricity use in commercial buildings—so there is definitely room to cut waste.

Our recommendation? Use a scheduling system that creates customized presets for when lights should be on and off. This way, they’re not left on the whole night or weekend, but still can be used to as a security tactic.

2. Regularly Maintain Temperature and Ventilation Systems

Have your heating/cooling and ventilation system inspected and maintained regularly. Poorly maintained systems can end up working harder to produce the same output, thus increasing your energy bill. To keep yours in working order, regularly clean or replace filters, and have a professional come in to inspect ductwork and peripheral hardware.

3. Conduct an Energy Audit

Have a specialist come by to perform an energy audit on your business. While there, he or she will inspect your property to determine if it is adequately insulated—thereby resulting in less heating and cooling costs. Furthermore, check with your utility company to see if they offer a rebate for conducting an energy audit, as many do.

4. Control the Internal Temperature

Don’t let the internal temperature of your business escape you. With available technology, you can set your thermostat to stay between a specific range—only turning on when the temperature has exceeded the set threshold. Or, you can pre-program specific schedules. For instance, maybe the thermostat turns down in the early morning and evening hours.

Technologies, such as remote access, allow you to manually adjust the thermostat and scheduled settings from anywhere. Simply log into your portal on a PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone to adjust.

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