Posted on 06/24/2015
There are many ways your company can slash its energy costs, but we recommend you start with the basics – refining your energy procurement practices.
First, try understanding your company’s current energy use and calculate its current cost impacts. For example, invoices received should be used to determine a total usage of energy on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.
Data captured from these invoices can be used to show your organization's energy patterns and consumption to assist you in making better decisions.
Be sure to carefully assess your invoices as they may have errors. Overpaying your utility can really put a dent into your company's bank account.
After evaluating current costs and usage, start to explore and identify opportunities to reduce energy costs even further.
To get you started, here are 8 simple ways to reduce your energy costs:
- Consolidate all utility billing data. Put your data in a single place where all parties in your organization can use it easily.
- Pay the lowest-cost tariffs you can. A number of US states currently enable retail buyers of electricity to reduce their cost by choosing a supplier from among two or more competing utilities.
- In deregulated markets, choose the lowest-cost provider for your usage patterns. After you know which utility companies you will buy from, be sure you select the lowest-cost tariff rates for which you qualify.
- Avoid overpaying your utility by finding billing errors. Put practices in place to identify and manage billing errors. Doing this can save you 1-3% of your total spending on energy.
- Take advantage of rebates, tax breaks, and incentives. Many gas and electric utilities offer their customers rebates to encourage investment in energy-conservation measures.
- Don’t let utilities sit on your deposit money. When you open a new facility or establish a new energy account, most utilities will require that you pay a deposit to ensure they will get their money even if you miss payments. To get your deposit back as soon as possible (with interest), track both the amount of the deposits you have paid to each utility and also the utility’s rules for getting your deposits back.
- When you open or close a facility, make sure your utility adjusts to the most favorable rate as soon as possible. You can save money by ensuring that the transition from your construction rate to your normal operating rate occurs quickly.
- Take advantage of other special programs your utilities may offer. Many utilities offer free energy audits and special rate tariffs tailored to specific needs.
For too long, food service operators have been focusing their time on managing food and labor costs, while often dismissing energy costs as an uncontrollable "cost of doing business." However, with these few easy steps, you can reduce your energy usage and improve bottom line profits.