Cutting costs is always top of mind for small business owners. When you own a home-based business, you face a two-fold issue: Your business and non-business consumption overlap and can drive up your cost of living.
For some home-based business owners, the tax implications are limited when trying to recoup those costs.
If you have a home-based business, try these five tips for cheaper business energy.
Source the right supplier
Before you try anything else, evaluate your energy supplier. If you live in a deregulated area, you can take advantage of the competitive market to drive down your costs. Evaluate your consumption habits over the past year to get a better idea of your overall business usage. If possible, compare to previous years before you started your business.
Use a comparison service like Energybot to help you find the right supplier. Remember to look at the finer details about the service, including long-term commitment discounts and transfer fees. Consider using a service that offers sustainable energy options, such as solar or wind power.
Create sustainable practices
Evaluate the ways that you can be more sustainable in your business practices. Depending on the nature of your home-based business, you have plenty of options available. Some practices to consider include:
- Going paperless
- Using recycled materials
- Using power strips
- Using off-peak hours
Think beyond your energy consumption to consider other areas as well, such as water use and using eco-friendly products. When working from home, you have the opportunity to cut back on single-use plastics and take-out containers. Make sustainability a core value in your business and lifestyle.
Be mindful of phantom energy use
Many of your appliances and electronics use energy even while lying dormant. Be mindful of phantom energy use throughout your home, especially if you use special equipment to conduct your business.
Things like televisions, microwaves, computers, and coffee machines use phantom energy. Leaving a phone charger plugged in without a phone will also keep pulling energy for no purpose. Use power strips and shut things down at the end of each workday.
Use smart home tools
Smart home tools can not only save you money but also be claimed as a business expense. You can make a variety of small investments throughout your home that can save you thousands of dollars over time.
Start by replacing your lightbulbs with energy-efficient LED lights. Install low-flow faucets and an on-demand water heater. Using a smart thermostat can help you program your heating schedule and provide valuable insights into your consumption. Finally, installing a heat pump can help optimize the airflow in your home and save on heating and cooling.
Shield your home from the elements
A lot of our energy consumption at homes and businesses comes from external factors. In the winter, drafts are a source of contention when trying to keep your workspace warm. In the summer, drafts can let the cool air from air conditioning out. Furthermore, the sun through the windows can heat the inside of the house, making the AC work harder.
Add insulation and fix any damaged windows in your home. In the winter, using a window sealing kit can help keep the heat in and the cold air out. In the summer, use black-out curtains to keep out the sun during peak hours. Over time, you should see a decrease in your heating and cooling costs.
The benefit of cutting energy costs for your home-based business is that the savings will carry over to your cost of living. You can claim many upgrades as business expenses.
About the author: Among other projects, Karen Nightingale publishes the blog EcoKaren to help readers create a flexible, natural lifestyle without a ton of stress.