Virginia Energy Sense
Helpful Tips for Annandale Small Businesses to Save Energy – and Money

 

By:  Andy Farmer

Energy Savings, Annandale, VAYear after year, thousands of small business throughout the Commonwealth, several of which are located right here in Annandale, search for ways to reduce operating costs. This can oftentimes prove challenging, but there are many easy and effective ways for small businesses to reduce expenses and increase profits simply by lowering energy use.

A proud partner of the Annandale Chamber, Virginia Energy Sense (VES) is the Commonwealth’s energy education program and is committed to helping Virginians, and businesses large and small in Virginia, reduce their energy consumption by 10 percent by 2020.

Small business participation plays an integral part in meeting this important goal. The following energy reduction tips have the potential to help the state meet its energy reduction goals, but also save small businesses money in the process.

Commercial Energy Audit
A business energy audit is a great way to identify areas to save energy and improve your company’s bottom line. You can conduct your own energy audit or hire a professional. This can be an involved process depending on the size of your office, so refer to the VES checklist before getting started.

Commercial Incentives
Investing in sustainable office equipment to lower energy consumption may be worth consideration for many businesses. There are many federal, state and utility company incentives available to Virginia businesses to help offset purchase and installation costs of energy efficiency upgrades and equipment. VES has compiled the details of these incentive programs on its website, which can be found here.

Getting Employees Involved
Simply educating your employees and asking them to help save energy can make a difference. Encouraging employees to close blinds in the winter at the end of the day to reduce heat loss and during the day in the summer to avoid the heat of direct sunlight and keep your business cool are two easy steps to save energy and save money. In addition, turning off lights, computer monitors and other office equipment when not in use will also make a difference.

Industrial and Commercial Lighting
The high efficiency and directional nature of light emitting diodes (LEDs) makes them ideal for many commercial and industrial uses. LEDs are increasingly common in street lights, parking garage lighting, walkway and other outdoor area lighting, refrigerated case lighting, modular lighting, and task lighting.  Quality LED products can last 25 times longer than an incandescent bulb and use 75% less energy, resulting in significant savings over time.

Lowering costs by reducing energy consumption can be easy for Virginia’s small businesses. VES looks forward to working alongside the Commonwealth’s small businesses to create a more sustainable workplace that will benefit everyone.  You can learn more about VES at:

http://www.virginiaenergysense.org.

Advice from Virginia Energy Sense:

Tips for college students:

  • When purchasing a new mini-fridge, computer, television, lamp and other electronics, look for the ENERGY STAR label.
  • Use power strips instead of plugging gadgets directly into the wall. You can turn everything off with the flick of a switch.
  • Turn off lights when you’re not in your room. Go the extra step and switch from incandescent to more energy efficient bulbs like CFLs and LEDs, even for your desk and floor lamps.

Tips for the classroom:

  • Get students in the habit of turning off computer screens when not in use.
  • Always be sure the lights to the classroom are turned off when nobody is in the room.
  • Take advantage of our educational materials to teach students about reducing their energy usage at home.

 

Author:  Andy Farmer is the manager of Virginia Energy Sense, the Commonwealth’s statewide energy education program under the guidance of the State Corporation Commission (Copyright © 2012 Annandale Chamber of Commerce. All rights reserved.  (Photographs & images, on this page, and on this website, are not available for use by other publications, blogs, individuals, websites, or social media sites.)

 

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