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What’s good for business can also be good for the environment, and vice versa. A company that is environmentally conscious can profit from cutting its operating costs, improving its public image, fostering team spirit among its employees and improving conditions in the workplace. Such practices are good for the environment — and for the bottom line.


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Turn Off or Down the Lights and Other Equipment

Bright lighting is not always necessary or even useful. It can be expensive and even counter-productive. Installing dimmer switches or using lower wattage bulbs can save energy, and thus save money. They can also make an office environment more conducive to work, reducing glare and helping to set a more comfortable, welcoming mood in the workplace. Turning off the lights in areas where no one is currently working will also save money, as does turning off machinery and equipment that is not in use. Using equipment, machinery and other devices that are more energy-efficient is another way to help the planet, while also helping the bottom line.


Check Door Seals on Refrigeration Units

If you have a refrigerator in your office, it may not be maximizing its energy use which will show in your energy bill. Tight seals and properly closing doors prevent warm air from entering the unit, reducing energy required for cooling as well as preventing frost build-up. A quick way to test if your refrigerator is properly using energy is to slide a dollar bill into the seal and if it enters easily, have the seal adjusted.


Cut Equipment Idle Time

Running a business can call for a lot of equipment running at once. Unplugging office equipment when it’s unneeded can result in significant savings in your energy usage.  Implement a startup/shutdown plan to make sure you are using only the equipment that you need, when you need it. A power strip is a quick way to switch all the appliances plugged in, from on to off.


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Utilize Natural Daylight

Because you may not realize realizing how much lighting is being utilized throughout the day, lighting may be consuming a large portion of your energy bill. A simple way to reduce this portion of your bill is to turn off lights when possible and use natural daylight. Natural daylight has been shown to improve an indoor environment while reducing energy use at peak demand. Any lighting renovation should start by using daylight as much as possible.


Control Heating and Cooling

Turn off or reduce the cooling or heating in areas not being used, such as storage and non-public spaces. Make sure heating and cooling units serving a common area are not “fighting” each other by heating and cooling the area at the same time.


Use Occupancy Sensors

Install automatic occupancy sensors – lighting controls to turn lights on and off in frequently unoccupied areas like restrooms, copy rooms, supply rooms and warehouses. In addition to saving energy, occupancy sensors help reduce maintenance costs. For instance, turning fluorescent lights off for 12 hours each day can extend their expected calendar life by 75 percent or nearly seven years.


For more information on how to save on your small business energy costs, visit dteenergy.com/savenow.

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For more tips and inspiration for small business owners,
visit CBS Small Business Pulse Detroit.