Minor Investments for Major Impact
We understand you may not want to make major upgrades in a place that you do not own. There are many opportunities for renters to save energy and reduce operating costs without major capital investments to the building. For example, something as simple as turning off lights in unoccupied areas and adjusting thermostats can impact your electricity bills. It might also make sense to approach your landlord to help with some of these energy-saving ideas.
If you pay your own utilities, investing in energy efficiency upgrades can reduce your monthly bills and create a comfortable work environment for you and your employees. As an added bonus, customers walking through a comfortable store will spend more time shopping and possibly spend more money.
If utilities are included in your rent, you still have options, many of which cost little or nothing. With an energy saving strategy, you can increase the appearance and comfort of your business as much as if you owned the building. You may even be able to negotiate a lower rate with your landlord because of your efforts.
- Conduct a walkabout – Doing a walkabout of your facility with a property manager or building supervisor is a great way to identify energy savings opportunities in your business. They can help you identify unnecessary equipment that can be unplugged, check settings on equipment, manage set points on thermostats and also provide the chance to better understand how energy is used throughout your business.
- Switch to LED lights – They offer significant energy savings compared to halogen, fluorescent and incandescent lights. ENERGY STAR® LEDs use 75% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs.
- Get a programmable thermostat – That old dial thermostat can be off by up to 5 degrees celsius, so it’s time to ditch the dial and get an upgrade. Programmable thermostats are far more reliable and relatively inexpensive. They even allow you to set back the temperature of your space at night and times when it’s unoccupied like weekends and holidays.
- Use shading devices – Install shades, curtains or blinds. During the winter, be sure to open shades during the day.
Let the sun shine through to help heat your business. At night, close shades as these act as an insulator and can help keep the heat in.
- Think about how employees impact energy use – This could be anything from identifying the employee who cranks the thermostat to a technician not closing a door behind them. Putting a locked cover over your thermostat or adding reminder stickers can help remind employees to be mindful with energy use.
- Unplug it – Do you have equipment that you don’t use, like
an old computer no one touches? Unplug, unplug, unplug. Even though the computer isn’t on, it’s drawing bits of energy that add up.
For more tips, check out our No Cost and Low Cost ways to save.
Talk With Your Landlord
Don’t be surprised if your landlord is just as interested in energy efficiency as you are. As a tenant, your business will enjoy a reduction in monthly utility bills and an increase in comfort. Landlords are interested because they inherit a building that has increased in value and is more energy efficient.
Additionally, when considering the purchase of new equipment for your business, consider talking with your landlord. Like so much of your business, new equipment can be a big investment and it is worth doing a return-on-investment calculation before purchasing.
Depending on the type of equipment or energy efficiency project you are considering, it’s worth talking with your landlord.
Here are some topics to consider:
- Figure out how many years you have left in your rented space.
- Identify the annual energy savings with a new piece of energy-efficient equipment.
- Estimate the lifetime of the equipment.
- Figure out the total cost of the piece of equipment.
- Review takeCHARGE rebate information to see if the equipment qualifies for a rebate.
- Explain the long term benefits of the new piece of equipment.
- Offer to share your monthly energy savings with your landlord.
- Offer to share the cost of the new equipment.
Before starting any energy efficiency project in your business be sure to contact us!