Regain Control of Unexpected Business Costs with Energy Efficiency


One of the biggest challenges Rhode Island businesses face is preparing for the unexpected. Uncertainty can take many forms, and all can pose a great risk to a business. Some events, such as swings in the economy, changes in regulations, and a moving political landscape, are beyond the scope of control for most businesses. However, there are other areas of risk where business preparedness can lessen the effect of an unforeseen event, and the financial burden that comes with it. One area in which businesses can exercise control is their energy usage.

Energy efficiency initiatives such as the installation of high-efficiency lighting, HVAC, and operational equipment systems are an excellent way to regain control over some of the unexpected costs to a business. Here are some ways that implementing energy-efficient systems can help your business experience a smoother ride for the long haul.

Temper high energy bills

Older lighting, HVAC, and operational equipment can surprise you with an unexpectedly high bill at the wrong time. Often these systems are not state-of-the-art, and may be using much more energy than their newer, more efficient counterparts, which leads to higher energy costs. And when demand for energy is high, such as in summer or winter months or when production is at full capacity, the energy bills that accompany those events can really take a bite out of the bottom line.

Upgrading to high-efficiency lighting, HVAC, and other operational systems will reduce a business’ energy usage by an average of 10%. Not only will that business save money, but since efficient equipment runs more smoothly, it will see smaller spikes in energy bills during high-load events, making budgeting more successful.

Reduce unanticipated equipment maintenance

On average, 5% of a business’ production time is lost to unplanned shutdowns due to critical equipment failure. That’s important, because when a business doesn’t make a product or can’t be open, it doesn’t make money. What’s more, costs don’t stop just because the line does. Taking steps to reduce downtime directly benefits the bottom line by keeping workers working.

Installing energy-efficient equipment is a great way to reduce equipment-related downtime. Because efficient equipment uses less energy, it doesn’t have to work as hard to do the same job. The result is less failure, less maintenance, less downtime, and higher profits.

Reduce safety incidents

If your employees can’t see well or are distracted by fluctuations in temperature, there is a greater risk for on-the-job mistakes. Worse yet, poor lighting can lead to accidents, which are not only unwanted, but also very costly. By upgrading to new energy-efficient systems, a business can increase employee visibility, security, and comfort, which provides for a safer working environment for everyone.

A safer working environment is also less expensive one to operate. Not only will a business reduce its expenditures on insurance claims, but it will also reduce the effects of having an employee not working due to unexpected injury.

Keep your employees around for the long haul

Businesses know that servicing an existing customer is significantly less expensive than obtaining a new one. Good businesses know that the same holds true for their employees. Replacing employees and training new ones costs a business both time and money. Furthermore, unanticipated departures can lead to job vacancies, which compound the unexpected costs.

In one study, 21% of business owners reported that increasing their facility’s efficiency led to higher employee morale and reduced turnover. Not only did those businesses save money on energy costs by upgrading their facility, but they also realized additional cost savings by decreasing employee turnover through the reduction of training and downtime expenses.

This article was originally posted on Rhode Island Monthly.