Saving Energy

We posted yesterday about cutting expenses that don’t have a negative impact on sales.  Today, we’re going to take a look at some ways to make that happen.  With utility prices going up all over the country, energy saving is definitely a good place to start.  There are any number of ways to save serious money without hurting your selling environment. 

Lighting is a critical part of your store design.  A poorly lighted store makes a poor impression on customers.  If color is an important part of your selling story, the wrong fixtures and bulbs can also hurt your business by distorting colors.  For example, the most common lighting in most stores comes from fluorescent tubes.  The standard for years has been the T12 lamp which uses a magnetic ballast.  The modern equivalent is the T8 lamp with electronic ballast.  According to Energy Star, switching to T8 lamps will produce a savings of about 35%.  An extra bonus is that the electronic ballasts don’t make that annoying humming noise that we’ve always associated with fluorescents.

If you use any incandescent fixtures in your store, a switch to compact fluorescent lamps will also save energy.  CFLs use 75% less electricity to produce the same illumination as a standard incandescent bulb.

Here are some other energy-saving tips from the California Public Utilities Commission:

  • Set programmable thermostats to turn the heat/cooling system on 30 minutes before people arrive and off from 30 to 60 minutes before they leave. 
  • Turn off lights in unused areas that aren’t visible to your customers.  Depending on the circumstances, motion sensing switches in areas of limited use (restrooms, lunch rooms for example) may be a good investment.
  • Dress comfortably for the weather.  Remember that in winter your customers are wearing winter clothes.  If they’re wearing coats, a temperature of 72 degrees is going to be uncomfortably hot for them.  Set the temperature at 68 degrees and wear a sweater.
  • This one may be the most overlooked.  Keep your heating/cooling system in tip-top condition.  Change filters regularly and during cooling season, make sure your condenser coils are clean.  A properly maintained HVAC unit can save up to 5%.
  • Turn off unused equipment at night.  Computers, printers, monitors, and fax machines use electricity even when they’re not in use.
  • Don’t leave exterior doors and window open more than necessary. 
  • While water isn’t as expensive as electricity, the cost can add up.  Fix dripping faucets and constantly-running toilets as soon as possible to save water.

When it’s time to replace HVAC and other major electrical appliances, check with your state government for possible rebates.  Many local governments are offering rebates on Energy Star rated units.  You could get cash back in addition to the money you’ll save on your electric bill.

Finally, here’s something to think about.  You know what your net profit percentage is.  Say it’s 5%.  Then a dollar of additional sales equals five cents of extra profit.  Bur a dollar of reduced expenses equals $1.00 in additional profits.

If you have any ideas that have save you energy, please share them by commenting.

Oh, I almost forgot.  Thanks to         Brad Trnavsky for including our post, Customer Service Is More Important Than Ever,  in this week’s edition of The Carnival of Sales and Management Success.  Check it out.  There are some good posts there this week.

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One Response

  1. 1. Close your PC on the night.

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