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Expert Answers to Biz Questions

Listen in! Pick up some expert advice to a reader's question that we selected from CyberSchmooz.

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Simple Ways to Reduce Utilities Costs for Business

 

Paying business utilities adds up, whether you’re operating from home or whether you have an office. In the current economic downturn, cutting as many costs as you can from your operation could make the difference between a company that has enough cash to support its whole staff, and one that has to make severe and debilitating cuts. Here are some cost-cutting ideas that can minimize the costs associated with a physical location.

 

An Energy Audit

An energy audit involves simply figuring out where your energy money is going every month. It is a great way for you to find out whether you have any issues at the office that take up an unnecessary amount of cash. Once you have a good idea about how energy efficient your office is, you can make small changes to increase that efficiency and save you money.

 

Have a Strict ‘Turn-off’ Policy

When your electrical equipment and the equipment of your staff is idle, encourage them to be switched off. Have a policy where the last person in the office has to make sure that every screen is turned off, as well as every light, to avoid paying for electricity that you’re not even using. If you have a break area with radios, TVs, coffee makers, etc., plug them all into one power strip so you can switch them off in one go when you leave the room.

 

Cut down your Phone Bills

Telephones are old fashioned — traditional telecommunications services can be inefficient compared to the internet, which is why people are switching to a Voice over IP service, which connects to the internet and can save over 50% a month compared to plain old telephone systems (POTS).

 

However, POTS are often more reliable than VoIP solutions as the internet has more downtime than telecommunications lines, which is why companies like Grasshopper offer efficiency-enhancing POTS systems too. The telecommunications solution that fits your business will vary from office to office, so make sure you check Grasshopper reviews and determine if a POTS is more suitable than VoIP.

 

Use CFL and LED Whenever Possible

Compact florescent lights or light-emitting diode bulbs can save over a dollar in electricity per bulb per month (if they replace a 60-watt bulb with an 18-watt CFL or LED). Depending on how big your office is, this could really add up over a year and is an important part of cutting energy costs.

 

When Getting New Equipment, Make Sure It’s Energy Star Approved

When you’re buying any new office equipment, make sure you only buy equipment that has the Energy Star logo. These include computers, monitors, printers and more. The star is a sign that a machine runs very efficiently and is equipped with energy saving features like automatic power-downs when they aren’t being used. These can help you cut 50% of energy expenditure for these devices. It is important to not put off replacing old devices and AC systems as old units can run extremely inefficiently and cause a business to lose a great deal of cash in bills.

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