COLUMBUS, Ohio – Small business owners know the importance of managing expenses to boost the bottom line.
Utility services including electric, natural gas and telephone are essential to running a business, but they do not have to break the budget.
By understanding utility services and implementing conservation habits, small business owners can reduce energy waste and develop energy savings and solutions. The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) offers these tips to help manage small business utility costs.
Pay attention to your bills. Reading and understanding your bills can help you detect problems early on. If you receive a bill that seems too low or too high, contact your utility company. It may be a sign of a faulty electric or natural gas meter, and getting the problem fixed can save you from overpaying or paying too little over a long period of time.
Control the temperature. Lowering your thermostat in the winter and keeping the air conditioning at a reasonable temperature in the summer can result in significant savings on your heating and cooling bills. Having an efficient heating and cooling system also ensures you are using your electricity and natural gas efficiently.
Check with your local utility for savings. Many utilities offer rebates and other energy efficiency programs to help consumers reduce their usage.
Know your energy usage. Conducting a simple energy audit can help you find ways to conserve energy and reduce demand while discovering places where you may be wasting it. You can find a company to conduct an energy audit for you, or look for tools online to help you do the audit yourself.
Look for energy efficient appliances and equipment. Many large and small appliances have models available that are ENERGY STAR ® approved for energy efficiency. You can also replace lighting with ENERGY STAR® compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs or light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs to increase the efficiency and the life of your lighting. There are also a variety of state and federal loan and grant programs to give businesses incentives to install energy efficient and renewable energy technologies
Know your options as an energy consumer. Look into your options as an energy consumer by visiting the PUCO’s Energy Choice Ohio website at www.energychoice.ohio.gov. There you will find the Apples to Apples comparison charts to compare generation rate offers by PUCO-certified electric and natural gas suppliers. Take note of the pass through costs related to transmission, and review your peak load contribution with your utility and/or supplier.
By monitoring your utility bills and practicing energy conservation habits, small-business owners can make the best use of their business’s energy dollars. The PUCO offers a variety of information to help small businesses understand their bills and conserve energy. For more information, contact the PUCO at (800) 686-PUCO (7826) or www.PUCO.ohio.gov.