Greening Your Business

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What’s the latest color buzz? If you said green, you may already be an environmentally minded business owner. If not, there’s a sound fiscal reason to consider becoming one: “Greening” your business by putting energy efficient practices in place can help control costs and save money.

Wondering how to get started?

Begin with an energy analysis to learn how much you spend annually on electric, gas, sewer and water. Don’t worry, it’s not as difficult as it sounds. Taking a look at your utility bills or your general ledger is a quick way to chart energy patterns by month, season and facility.

Next, walk around your building. Search out drafty windows and doors. Inspect breakrooms and restrooms for dripping faucets or leaky commodes. Note thermostat settings. Review computer and printer use. Examine your recycling habits.

Once you’ve gathered enough data to pinpoint energy inefficiencies, you can begin to adopt eco-friendly practices. Even simple moves such as scheduling regular maintenance to clean the air filters in your cooling units or using rechargeable batteries in office equipment can save money.

For larger remodeling and replacement projects, you’ll want to calculate the payback period of your longer-term utility savings versus the upfront costs. Remember to check for state and local government programs that offer financial and technical assistance. These grants and other incentives can help you install new energy efficient technologies such as solar and geo-thermal. Your utility company might also provide rebates and funds that can ease the initial expense.

No matter your color preference, greening your business can be good business—and may also save you a bundle of real green.

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