Shorter days, colder nights, and higher energy bills will soon be upon us. In the United States, energy bills are on a steady climb with nearly a 20% increase since 2005. This year, be proactive about saving money by budgeting and cutting costs. You can start making differences as soon as TODAY and here’s how…

Be realistic about energy-saving
According to American Express Open Forum, businesses today should be able to cut up to 10% of their energy usage with minimum effort.  Businesses that set realistic goals, such as the 10%, are most likely to succeed.

Set a benchmark
Before changing existing practices, know what your monthly and annual energy usage and cost is now. This way you can calculate actual savings. Another option is, calculating how much energy different products use in your office.

Turn equipment off
The average annual cost to run a single monitor 24/7 is $36.60 and $295 to run a copy machine 24/7.  Just by turning the copier off when your office is closed your calculated savings is about $225 a year.  Powering equipment down when not in use is one of the easiest ways to save energy. Check with your IT Professional before setting power off policies for computers and infrastructure equipment.

Window Treatments
Solar heat gain through windows contributes to one-third of a building’s cooling load.  Adding window tint (aka window film) or professionally installed solar screens, can reject up to 79% of solar energy and save up to 30% on cooling and heating utility bills.

Rethink your lighting
Turn lights off when not in use or install motion detectors in low-traffic areas around the office so the lights are only activated when people are present. Make better use of natural light, by shifting desks towards windows and removing any barriers or cubicle walls that might be blocking windows.  Invest in energy efficient bulbs, such as LEDs. While more expensive up front a longer bulb life will result in cost savings. See the table results below.