It’s a myth that only large corporations can afford to make the switch to efficient energy. Despite start-up costs, eco-friendly initiatives can lead to significant savings and benefits. Ultimately, many business owners believe the investment is worthwhile.
Discover seven reasons why small businesses should work toward efficient energy.
1. Lower Operating Costs
The cost of renewables, including solar, wind and geothermal power, has reached an all-time low. In fact, renewable energy is now the cheapest source of power generation in many parts of the world, even without government-backed subsidies. Meanwhile, falling technology costs make implementation easy and cost-effective.
By opting for a more efficient source of energy, small businesses can cut operating expenses and reduce wasted resources. Organizations can also compound savings by researching available subsidies, tax credits and incentives for cutting fossil fuel use. In turn, this money can be reinvested in the business, whether it be through hiring more team members or upgrading parking facilities.
2. Employee Health Benefits
Efficient energy systems do more than lower costs and reduce waste. The transition away from fossil fuels also benefits indoor air quality and employee health. Asthma, for instance, affects roughly one in every 14 adults — around 7% of the population. However, studies observed reductions in asthma and respiratory-related doctor visits as a result of energy efficiency.
An efficient system should come equipped with a generator, a component that aids employee comfort in the event of a power outage. Reliable climate control systems can prevent heat stroke — a condition possible at 90° Fahrenheit — and control humidity levels.
3. Increased Market Value
Green buildings, those that rely on efficient energy systems and sustainable design, see an increase in market value compared to traditional construction. In Austin, Texas, for example, green homes saw an 8% boost in resale value, an average of $25,000. Other cities that value eco-friendly construction include Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington, D.C.
Most small business owners aren’t thinking about selling property — they’re focused on generating profits through products and services. However, a green building can be a boon when growth makes it necessary to relocate. A company can use the additional money to establish efficient practices at their new property.
4. Freedom From Electricity
Businesses that rely on fossil fuels for energy must endure constantly shifting prices. For the second month in a row, for example, New York Harbor oil saw a price increase, going from $12.18 per MMBtu in September 2019 to $12.96 in October of the same year.
Fluctuations are not consistent and leave companies scrambling for answers. With a switch to efficient energy, however, small businesses can take advantage of prolonged stability. Prices for renewables are falling, with some able to send extra power back to the grid, generating a profit.
5. An Environmental Impact
Perhaps one of the more apparent reasons a small business should be energy efficient is the benefit to the environment. The consumption of fossil fuels leads to greenhouse gas emissions, a major contributor to global warming. Renewables, on the other hand, produce relatively low levels of pollutants.
Extracting the fossil fuels needed to produce traditional energy also disturbs and contaminates underground water supplies. These pollutants can render freshwater, a scarce resource, unsuitable for both human and animal consumption. The extraction process also leads to a reduction in natural areas and wildlife.
6. Enhanced Brand Image
Today’s consumers have money to spend, but they won’t shop just anywhere. Instead, they look for sustainability, whether it be through recyclable packaging or energy-efficient operations. In three product categories — chocolate, coffee and bath supplies — items with specific eco-friendly claims grew twice as fast as those without.
While implementing energy-efficient systems comes with start-up costs, businesses can quickly mitigate them through increased consumer interest. Small companies should promote their sustainable initiatives online, both on their website and social media channels.
7. Greater Return on Investment
Most businesses view energy-efficient systems as an expense, a standpoint that’s logical in assessing non-efficient products. However, the utility savings and customer generation turn the transition into an investment. These savings offset the initial start-up cost and offer a significant return compared to conventional alternatives.
As fossil fuel prices continue to rise, the return pocketed will increase over time. According to experts, if we continue to burn these resources at our current rate, they will begin to run out within 30 years. Businesses that make the switch to renewables can insulate themselves from future scarcity.
Why Should Small Businesses Be Energy-Efficient?
Energy-efficient operations, along with the adoption of renewables, is a must for the future of all businesses, big or small. While many companies put off the transition due to high start-up costs, the benefits above outline why the move is a viable one.
From lower operating costs to enhanced employee well-being, learn how to make the switch to efficient energy today.