Consider Renewable Energy for Your Small Business

solar-power-generatorWith the cost of fuel rising higher each year, many companies have started to look towards renewable energy to reduce expenses. However, many of the smaller enterprises are often lagging behind in adapting to greener energy resources because of the associated costs to invest in renewable energy.

Cheaper Than You Think

One of the most common let-offs for many small businesses when trying to switch to renewable energy sources is the purported high cost. Technological innovations in recent years have resulted in reduction of the cost of renewable energy systems. Also, more investment and partnership opportunities for small businesses. Clean Energy Collective, a community-owned solar program, is one of those organizations making renewable energy cost effective for small businesses.

Small businesses can buy wind energy to support renewable energy programs without the cost of building the infrastructure. There is also a host of rebate programs available through Xcel Energy that can defray costs for energy conservation efforts.

Choosing the Right Renewable Energy Systemwindturbines2

Of course, all of these would be useless if you don’t choose the right energy system for your particular needs. Here, knowing the kinds of renewable energy resources available in your given area will definitely help a lot in selecting the actual system. The Colorado Renewable Energy Society provides a clear and short overview of the types of energy resources available for small business enterprises.

Contact us and learn more on how you can effectively use renewable energy for your business needs.

Businesses Can Obtain Energy Efficiency With LED Lighting

LED Parking GarageThe addition of LED Lights in a parking garage, lots and other areas has led to cost savings and energy efficiency for many businesses. This is due to the retrofitting of the existing lighting for these areas with LED fixtures.

Businesses will benefit from improved security, reduced maintenance costs and the conservation of energy. New LED lighting fixtures provide ten years plus of life before they need to be replaced. This is a great way for any business to reduce their carbon footprint, lower energy costs and help the environment.

Many parking spaces will need to be retrofitted to install a LED lighting system. The main benefit of using LED lights is that they are cheaper to operate than a high-pressure sodium fixture. Another benefit is the reduction for any maintenance that is needed. This includes the cost to replace a fixture that has failed or stopped working.

Another benefit is LED lighting provides even lighting that can illuminate a parking lot or any parking space more evenly than other lighting solutions. Adequate lighting is important for any outside area and even inside a building.

LED lighting can use motion detectors to turn from low to high to light up any area. Motion can be detected up to 50 feet away. A business that is looking to save money on their maintenance and lighting costs will need to consider adding LED lighting to their parking garages or outside lots.

If you have any questions about the use or LED lighting for your business, then contact us for more information.

Water Conservation is Important in the Workplace

When considering eco topics in relation to the workplace, energy efficiency usually comes to mind before water conservation.  However, experts agree water conservation is equally if not more important.  Here is startling statistic on water:

“Less than 1% of the world’s fresh water or about 0.007% of the entire world’s water supply is available for human use (that’s approximately one teaspoon of water out of a full bath tub).”

It is crucial that industries and public institutions get serious on water conservation.  Water is used in schools, commercial buildings, recreational facilities, and many other workplaces in watering gardens, in the manufacturing process, in the cleaning of floors and equipment, in the cooling of buildings, and of course, in toilets and wash rooms. Of all the water used in major cities, those industries and institutions account for 25% of the use.  So if businesses banded together, there could be a significant difference made in water quality and conservation.

Here are some ideas for small and medium sized businesses could start conserving water:

  • Turn of unnecessary flows to equipment and machinery
  • Switch to low-flow automatic faucets within the facility
  • Install low-flow toilets in each restroom
  • Limit or reduce the watering of lawns or consider xeriscaping
  • Use non-potable water to water flowers and plants
  • Use non-toxic and biodegradable cleaners and solvents
  • Offer filtered water to employees and costumers instead of purchasing bottled water
  • Make your staff aware and involved in the conservation efforts

None of these things may seem like they would have a big effect on the conservation effort.  But if enforced and sustained, these changes, over time will make a difference. If you would like more ideas on saving water or have any questions about water conservation, please feel free to contact us.

Energy Efficiency and Sustainability Resources For Small and Medium Businesses In Colorado

Here in Colorado we take the business of sustainability very seriously. In every corner of the state the push is on to improve our businesses to increase energy efficiency and support green business operations. Here are some resources, programs, incentives and guides available online to assist small and medium sized businesses;

The Main Street Efficiency Initiative (MSEI) is a Colorado Energy Office (CEO) program that helps small business lower energy costs as well as their carbon footprint.

Recharge Colorado has a resource page that is specifically for small businesses seeking information for energy efficiency, water efficiency and renewable energy projects in Colorado.

The Energy Efficiency Guide for Colorado Businesses will help you find ways for your company to save energy.  Their recommendations are sorted by sector that provides specific suggestions depending on the type of business.

Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) has a website full of valuable information and tools for small businesses.

CORE, the sustainable business association for Colorado also has a separate page for resources that include articles, business success stories and downloadable reports.

And of course, we at eco-officiency provide a wealth of resources for businesses to become greener in their operations.

Contact us if we can help you find the answers you are looking for when it comes to finding resources and information to help green your business.

Green Office Cleaning

Most offices have a janitorial or custodial vendor who cleans offices. It is important to have your vendors support your organizations sustainability program.To encourage ‘green’ cleaning ask your vendor for the following;

  • Use green cleaning supplies. Make sure cleaning supplies are non-toxic and eco-friendly. Seventh Generation and All Green have a great line of cleaning products.
  • Turn off lights. Ask your janitorial staff to turn off all lights upon leaving the building. This supports accountability with this simple energy saving action.
  • Provide recycling and waste data. In order to improve recycling and waste management it is important to get data from your janitorial staff on the usage of receptacles along with rate of recycling. Make sure your janitorial staff is managing waste responsibly.