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12 Days of Energy Savings

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It's important that your small business uses energy efficiently this holiday shopping and winter heating season. 

In the spirit of energy savings, we’ve put together several tips to help your small business lower its energy bill over the next 12 days. 

Day 1: Conduct an energy audit. 

Hire a company to conduct an energy audit of your business. The EPA's Energy Star program also offers a set of tools called Portfolio Manager that can help you better gauge your business's energy and water use.

Day 2: Set your thermostat. 

For each eight-hour period, your small business can save about 1 percent on heating costs for each degree you lower the thermostat setting on your heater. Also, be sure to turn down the thermostat further when your business is closed.

Day 3: Tune-up your HVAC system.

It’s important to conduct a “tune-up” of your HVAC system before each heating and cooling season. Even an ENERGY STAR-approved HVAC system can decline in performance without regular maintenance. By conducting regular maintenance, you can save energy and money while potentially extending the life of your system.

Day 4: Plug any leaks. 

It's important to locate any leaks in your business to prevent costly heating and cooling loss. You can easily plug leaks with weather stripping and caulking. They allow you to more efficiently manage your ventilation.

Day 5: Switch light bulbs. 

If your business still uses incandescent light bulbs, switch them out for more efficient and cost-effective lighting. Energy-efficient light bulbs — which include halogen bulbs, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light emitting diodes (LEDs) — use up to 80 percent less energy than conventional lighting and can last up to 25 times longer.

Day 6: Turn off all unused equipment. 

Turning off machines can translate to significant energy savings. Office computer monitors are an easy way to save on your business's energy bill as they use a lot of energy — about 100 watts per day

Day 7: Use a power strip. 

It's important to unplug equipment not in use as many devices continue to draw a small amount of power even when they are switched off. These "energy vampires" continue to suck energy with everything from computers to food equipment. You can easily avoid this energy waste by unplugging the appliance or using a power strip's on/off switch to cut off all power to the appliance.

Day 8: Clean your refrigerator. 

Clean refrigerator coils twice a year and replace door gaskets if a dollar bill easily slips out when closed between the door's seals. This will help ensure your refrigerator is using energy efficiently and retaining coolness.

Day 9: Address any water leaks.

Make sure to address any water leaks at your business. Small leaks may add up to many gallons of water and dollars wasted each month.

Day 10: Switch to a retail energy supplier.

It's important to get great electricity and natural gas rates. If your business is located in a deregulated market, you can switch from your utility to a retail energy supplier to gain price protection, real cost savings, best-in-class customer care and access to the latest technology.

Day 11: Lock-in a flexible energy rate. 

Energy prices can fluctuate at the drop of a hat. That's why you should ensure your business has the flexibility to take advantage of beneficial price changes. With ChooseAgain by Direct Energy Business, small businesses can select a new electricity or natural gas rate at any time without fees or penalties. As long as you remain with Direct Energy Business, you can switch rates at any time — even if our rates drop.

Day 12: Track your energy usage online. 

If you're a Direct Energy Business customer, you can track your business's own energy usage by logging into MyAccount. In MyAccount, you can access all of your account information in one place, see a rolling 13-month view of your usage, renew your contract in just a few clicks (if eligible) and access it on all of your devices. By actively tracking your usage, you're more likely to save energy and money.

For more information on how your small business can save this holiday season, check out our 50 energy saving tips.

Posted: December 15, 2016