One major factor many auto repair facilities and small business owners, alike, tend to neglect is how much money they are losing paying exuberant amounts on utility bills. Whether you are in the frigid Northeast or the scorching Southwest, there are simple and cost-effective tips to slash your utility bills.
Investing in a wifi thermostat can help you cut down on heating and cooling costs. For about $90, this investment will pay for itself through utility bill savings within the first few months. If your shop is in the Tri-state area, with its harsh winters and sweltering summers, these extreme temperatures will call for extended use of your shop’s heating and cooling systems. Enhanced thermostats, such as Nest, learn how your building holds ambient temperature. It then formulates a schedule, maximizing the system's output while maintaining an optimal temperature. This small investment will save you money on your monthly utility bill.
Not in the market for a new thermostat? You can still accomplish similar results manually. Set up a schedule for you heating and cooling system, where you cut down on existing use. At our shop, we discovered that the building retains heat extremely well. This allows us to turn off the heat at 2:30pm, instead of 5pm, without noticeably affecting the ambient temperature; a small adjustment that saves our business 50 hours worth of heating per month. This easy adjustment simply required a little experimenting. The desire to “change” how you look at your business can save a considerable amount of “change” in the long haul.
Replacing or repairing drafty windows and doors may seem like an insignificant fix, but one that can save a noticeable amount of money. With a majority of auto repair facilities having large bay doors and multiple entrances, overlooking this issue can be a costly mistake. Remedying this problem can range from simply using a door snake to block the bottom of a door to weatherstripping and insulating windows. The solution that is right for your business depends on your desired outcome and the amount of money you want to invest.
Inspect all of the lighting and compare to your electricity consumption. Swapping your incandescent lights for LED and Energy Star accredited lights, will save money in the long run. Although you will be making an investment to replace existing lights, LED lights last more than 20 times longer than incandescent lights. Without the need to replace them as often and their energy efficiency, these savings may not be seen immediately, but will be felt throughout the lifetime of your business. Plugging electronics into power strips and turning them off at night will ensure that they are not consuming unnecessary electricity.
Take an unbiased walk through your business and inspect it from different angles. Are electronics being left on overnight? Are technicians leaving the bay door open and turning on the heat? Are there repairs that have been neglected that would help save on heating and cooling costs? While these issues may seem independently trivial, when addressed in tandem, they will significantly contribute to you saving on utility bills. With a few changes, you can create a better, more cost-efficient space that will reduce costs and increase profits.