3 Scientifically Sounds Ways to Shave Your Office Electric Bill
The United States Department of Energy says that the average person in the United States spent $3052 on electricity in 2012. Chances are you’re paying something in the ballpark of this sum every single year. Operating a small business or home office efficiently requires proven methods to slice through your expenses, and part of that involves cutting your electric bill. Here are three tactics you can employ to start cutting that electric bill.
1: Dump CFL Bulbs and Grab Some LED’s.
The Program for the Evaluation and Analysis of Residential Lighting (PEARL) has an interesting report regarding compact fluorescent lighting (CFL). While nearly 95% of CFL bulbs do possess their stated efficiency, less than 80% maintain the light levels that they were originally designed for after 1000 hours. If you plan on using a covered lamp, then the number drops to nearly 40%. In short, these bulbs end up becoming dull duds pretty quickly.
LEDs, on the other hand, do not dim over time as much as CFLs do, their total lifetime is roughly 8 times as long, and they deliver the same level of light for half the wattage. As they stand right now, the price of an LED bulb is justified due to the more gradual, but higher ROI. Given the shrinking price of LEDs (some costing little more than $15), you can expect to save up to 66% in utility expenses over the lifetime of your LED as you would with CFL.
2: Turn your heating off at night. Just do it.
The saying goes something like this, “maintaining a constant temperature at night is less costly than heating up a room that’s been chilled”. Let’s say you have a heating system that has a maximum nominal output of 12,000 BTU. Now, let’s say that keeping the room’s temperature at 70° F requires 5,000 BTU per hour at night.
If your place of business is open 12 hours per day, the heater is working on an uninhabited area for 12 hours every evening. 12 times 5,000 is 60,000. Heating this area back up (given that you have a heater that’s proper for your room size) will take only 2 hours at its maximum power. 12,000 times two is 24,000. You save 40% for that night! The moral of the story is: Turn off your heater when you leave!
3: Using dark backgrounds on your computer monitor doesn’t save energy.
On Earth Hour, many websites opted to have black backgrounds with the intention to cut global energy output. However, the backlights on LCDs cover the entire screen and continue to consume electricity regardless of the color displayed. Google dedicated a blog post to showing that this actually could end up making a computer use even more power.
If you want to reduce your monitor’s grid consumption, just put it to sleep after a few minutes of inactivity!
Bonus: More advice!
These are general ways you can also save energy, all proven to work:
- Insulate your water heater.
- Check the seals around windows, doors, and corners, then seal if necessary.
- Use low-power RAM and hard drives for your computers. Opt for a laptop or tablet when possible.
- Quench some of your grid consumption with a few low-cost solar panels. This works especially well if you’re in a sunny region.
- If you’re using an HVAC air conditioner, do not close too many vents. You’ll end up making the fan work harder.
Following this advice and being more prudent with electricity may cut your bill by up to 50% . If you plan on growing, it’s important to lower your opex as much as possible without sacrificing the quality of your product or service to your customers. Make a habit of this now before you get there!