On July 14, 2012, the Department of Energy (DOE) put in place the next phase of energy-efficient lighting legislation that is part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 . According to the DOE, lighting accounts for 40% of a commercial building’s electric bill, yet only about 20% of existing businesses have implemented changes to take advantage of energy-efficient lighting. So, the DOE wants to help businesses realize the immediate and future benefits of converting buildings to a more energy-friendly system of lighting.
What’s in it for you?
The first and most obvious benefit is the cost reduction of operating a business with more efficient, cost-effective lighting. There are also state and local utility rebates and other incentives available to sweeten the pot. Visit dsireusa.org and click on your state to find loans, rebates, incentives and more to help you convert your commercial building.
Energy tax incentives are also in place to help spur the change. A tax deduction of up to $1.80 per square foot is available to owners or tenants of new or existing commercial buildings that are constructed or reconstructed to save at least 50% of the heating, cooling, ventilation, water heating and interior lighting energy cost of a building that meets certain criteria. For more information visit energytaxincentives.org/business/commercial_buildings.php.
But, why stop at lighting? There are probably numerous inefficient operations draining your bottom line. It’s well-known that office equipment can rack up a hefty energy bill, so why not lower your costs by optimizing these assets. Below are inexpensive, cost-effective measures you can take today.
- Switch to laptops, which use up to 80% less energy than desktop computers, according to Energy Star .
- Set power-saving modes on computers, fax machines, copiers and printers to put them to sleep when they’ve been idle for a certain number of minutes. Taking this simple step can also spare your bottom line.
- Shut down the equipment at night.
- Use power strips to shut off multiple pieces of equipment when not in use.
- When it’s time to purchase new equipment, buy Energy Star-qualified products, many of which automatically go into power-save mode after a certain amount of time.
- Control temperature settings to lower heat or cooling at night or on weekends when people aren’t in the building. Be sure to regularly maintain heating and cooling units for optimal efficiency.
- Look for and take advantage of natural light and ventilation.
- Reduce water heater temperatures to 120 degrees and install energy-efficient refrigerators.
Make the switch
Reducing the energy consumption of your commercial building is good common sense, and you don’t have to break the bank to do it. Once you’ve taken stock and made decisions about how to proceed, representatives at American River Bank can help you find affordable financing for building upgrades and renovations.
Call (800) 544-0545 or