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Ways to cut energy costs at your business

Do not submit zero balance vouchers

Each year we receive thousands of payment vouchers from individuals, partnerships and corporations that do not owe any tax.

Some spend upwards of $10 to send to us a zero balance payment voucher by certified mail.

Remember: if your clients do not owe anything, they do not need to mail us anything.

Dear Readers: The energy challenge facing California is real. Governor Gray Davis' office has asked us to help by getting the word out to all our customers about the importance of conserving energy. The following article contains some simple things that you can do right now to reduce demand and cut energy costs at your place of business.

Running a successful business means making every dollar count. Cutting back on unnecessary energy use is an easy way to keep your hard-earned money working for you. This guide is designed to help you target your energy-saving efforts for maximum value and impact. (The savings numbers are based on your total summer electric bill. Equipment mentioned must be electric powered for estimates to be accurate. )

Set your thermostat to 78 degrees or higher. (Save two percent per degree above the old setting)

To eliminate wasted energy:

. Close window blinds to shade interior spaces from direct sunlight. (Save two percent)
. Put your computer, monitor, and printer on sleep mode when not in use. (Save 0.5 percent)
. Turn off lights in unoccupied rooms. (Save 1-2 percent)
. Keep exterior and freight doors closed as much as possible. (Save up to two percent)
. Perform scheduled maintenance on air-conditioning units including cleaning condenser coils, replacing air filters, and checking ducts and pipe insulation for damage. (Save 2-5 percent)
. Encourage employees to be energy conscious.

Here are some other inexpensive energy solutions:

. Make a quick trip to your local hardware store to purchase inexpensive energy saving tools and equipment.
. Provide the right light levels
. Use bi-level switches to reduce lighting to the necessary light level. If workstations are equipped with task lighting, consider disconnecting unnecessary lamps and fluorescent ballasts. Be sure to maintain safe lighting conditions. (Save up to 15 percent)
. Choose Energy Star� lighting products
. Replace incandescent light bulbs with Energy Star� compact fluorescent light bulbs. (Save up to 10 percent)
. Install a programmable thermostat
. Lowering your air conditioning when you are closed will avoid unnecessary cooling costs. (Save 1-4 percent)

If you're planning to do some remodeling soon or are ready to replace equipment, consider these energy efficiency suggestions:

. When purchasing computers, monitors, printers, fax machines and copiers, choose Energy Star� models that power down after a user-specified period of inactivity. (Save 0.5 percent)
. Reduce your lighting costs. Retrofit T12 lights and magnetic ballasts to T8 lights and electronic ballasts. (10-15 percent)
. Retrofit incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent lights. (Save 1-5 percent)
. Remove excess fluorescent lamps. (Save up to eight percent)
. Install automatic room lighting controls to turn lights on or off, depending on occupancy or time of day. (Save 1-3 percent)
. Retrofit incandescent or fluorescent exit signs with long-lasting, low-energy LED exit signs. (Save 0.2 percent)

Check out Flex Your Power for more information.

July/August 2001

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