Difficult economic times have forced many businesses to boost efficiency to sustain profits. Yet too often, companies overlook opportunities to cut costs, especially when it comes to their power bills. While simple solutions, like installing energy efficient light bulbs, can reduce energy consumption and bills, the greatest cost-cutting opportunity lies with the heating and air conditioning (HVAC) system, a company's biggest energy user and highest controllable expense. But few business owners focus on HVACs to save money, fearing expensive service visits and ineffective, costly technology solutions.
Technological advancements in commercial energy efficiency systems have finally made them affordable for operators of once underserved, small- to mid-sized facilities. They also deliver proven, quantifiable results. For those business owners seeking to reduce operating costs and harness green business practices, an energy efficiency system can curtail carbon emissions and boost the bottom line.
Here are five reasons your company needs an energy efficiency system:
1. Monetary Savings
Today's energy efficiency systems can slash a small- to mid-sized company's energy costs by 10 to 20 percent and provide an investment return in six to 12 months. Price points and functionality vary, but for smaller buildings, advanced systems cost less than $2,000 and can usually be financed. Depending on a business's monthly energy bills, even a 10 percent savings can provide a rapid return. Utility bill savings drop straight to a company's bottom line, increasing its profitability without reducing head count or employee or customer amenities.
Moreover, many local utility companies throughout the country are offering rebates and other business programs that will subsidize and facilitate commercial energy efficiency systems, further reducing installation expenses.
2. Lower Environmental Impact
A lower energy bill resulting from an energy efficiency system signifies reduced energy consumption. Diminished energy usage means fewer carbon emissions and a smaller environmental footprint from business operations.
3. Mechanical Equipment Longevity and Efficiency
Energy efficiency systems quickly identify consumption anomalies from potentially malfunctioning HVAC equipment. Rapid response to equipment breakdowns increases the malfunctioning equipment's longevity, along with other HVAC units that compensate for the error. Immediate action can mean the difference between an affordable repair versus an expensive replacement. While this benefit is not quantifiable like lower energy bills, it can prevent disasters and save money.
4. Round-the-Clock Monitoring and Control
Many systems provide energy usage settings and controls that on-site employees cannot override. Authorized personnel can remotely manage the settings online. Best-of-breed manufacturers also offer outsourced monitoring services where account managers can monitor and control a company's energy usage 24/7. This practice minimizes consumption, maximizes savings, makes seasonal adjustments, and immediately reacts to irregularities - all without increasing the business's energy management burden.
5. Marketing and Public Relations Benefits
Consumers appreciate companies that are environmentally responsible. Current and prospective customers should be notified of the installation of an energy efficiency system as an example of the company's green business practices beyond typical light bulb and recycling initiatives. Use of such technology can also draw environmentally conscious customers to your business, bring positive local press attention and awards, and a positive brand image. Besides building business and helping the earth, such practices also boost employee morale.
Gus Ezcurra is the CEO of Advanced Telemetry, which has developed a smart energy and resource efficiency system
for businesses and residences. He can be reached through the company's Web site.