There are lots of sustainable solutions that you can do as a business owner. Most of the decisions do not solely get based on what is good for the environment (and that’s OK), but instead what removes pain points for a business owner. Here are a few common approaches that I see our customers undertake and why.
While one of the most common energy efficiency services, LED lighting removes a pain point that is not exclusively high energy bills. Older and inefficient lighting has to be more frequently, while LED lighting can last over 50,000 hours. I know that a business owner will be eager to upgrade to LED lighting when they have a high percentage of lights out - this tells me that they may not have access to the tools and staff that can address burnt out ballasts and lamps. LED lighting incentives available from the ComEd Energy Effiiency Program can help offset the costs to replace older lighting.
Walk in cooler and freezers use a huge amount of energy in restaurants and can cause a high electric bill. However, that isn’t the main reason that we see many of our customers jump on EC motors. While EC motors do use a fraction of the energy of the original shaded pole motors, using utility rebates to replace your entire cooler and freezer motors to Electronic Communicated motors avoids the fear that a motor will stop working in the middle of the night. Older motors are a constant source of maintenance, and new motors likely will last 10 years or more without repair. Nothing keeps a restaurant owner up more at night than a failed Walk in Cooler or Freezer, since so much of their ability to serve their customers are perishable and stored inside that unit. If you have walk in coolers or freezers, lets talk about how the ComEd Energy Efficiency Program just increased their incentives around EC Motors.
Smart thermostats are great way to address a high electric bill, along with high gas bills. Not only to they outprogram programmable thermostatst, but they also have motion sensors that detect movement to set back temperatures on days that you are not occupied.
Have a cold employee that sets the heat up to 75 degrees, and not only is a ton of energy being wasted, but customers could be too warm as well and not stay as long to shop. Having access from a Nest or Ecobee Smart thermostat for commercial spaces can really make a difference when it comes to keeping an eye on the business from afar, and making sure customer comfort and energy savings comes first.
Rooftop HVAC Unit Upgrades
Many of our customers upgrade their HVAC rooftop units to Tier 2 energy efficient units. While the energy savings are significant, the main motivation is removing the expense and concern around older rooftop units. Brand new units come with the state of the art equipment, economizers, and are warrantied. The best part for business owners - utility rebates can cover a portion of the cost, as much as 70% in Chicagoland for small business classified customers.
Have a business in Chicago that you want to see where you stand for utilty incentives, and want to reduce your headaches? Check us out for a free energy efficiency assessment and be good to yourself - you deserve it!