5 Tips To Understand Your Business’s Electricity Consumption

5 Tips To Understand Your Business’s Electricity Consumption

Learn how to better manage your businesses' energy consumption to lower your electric bills.

Thad Warren By Thad Warren

You pay your gas and electricity bills every month for your business. But have you ever taken a good, hard look at that monthly bill? Or understood just how much energy it takes to run your business? 

While it’s reasonable that you might feel overwhelmed by the various acronyms and percentages littered across your electric bills, it’s important to pay attention to your energy usage and how much it’s costing you. As a business owner, boosting your bottom line and ensuring long-term profitability is always a priority.  

Knowledge is power, after all, and in many cases, staying informed can save your business more money. At EnergyBot, we give businesses personalized insights into your electricity bill. No matter your size or industry, we’re here to help you get the lowest price and best provider in your area. We’re more than an energy broker, too: our online energy marketplace is 100% digital, helping you get the best utilities, faster. 

Ready to start saving? Get informed first. Follow these 5 tips to better understand your electricity usage and billing. 

5 tips to understand your energy bill

1) Know how energy is measured

Your energy bill has a lot of jargon on it, and that can make it nearly impossible to understand your actual electricity consumption. Before you do anything, it’s important to understand that your utility company measures energy usage in kilowatts, which is abbreviated as kW. 

If you remember learning the metric system in middle school, one kilowatt is 1,000 watts. That’s easy enough. Things get a little more complicated from here. Your electric company bills you by how many kilowatts you use in an hour. This is called kilowatt per hour, abbreviated as kWh. 

Let’s say you’re using a 60-watt lightbulb in your desk lamp. Because there are 1,000 watts in a kilowatt, that lamp will use 0.06 kilowatts in one hour. Another way to look at this is that you’ll take 6 hours of running that lamp to use 1 kilowatt of energy. If you pay 10 cents per kilowatt, that’s 6 cents per hour. 

This sounds pretty cheap at first, but remember that the number of electronic devices in your business and the hours you spend running them can considerably increase your bill. Some of the top energy-draining devices at the office include computers, printers, thermostats, and refrigerators.

2) Calculate your usage

Once you understand what kWh actually means, you can calculate your business’s current usage. How much energy are you really using right now? And what can you do to reduce that consumption thus lowering your monthly energy bills?

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Check out your appliances and lighting fixtures and look for the wattage which should be clearly featured on the label. To figure out the kWh of an appliance: 

  • Find its wattage. 
  • Divide the wattage by 1,000. 

If you’re using a 600-watt microwave and divide those 600 watts by 1,000, the kWh is 0.60. In plain English, this means you’ll use 0.6 watts if you run that microwave for an hour straight. Awareness is the first step to improving your business’ energy bill. Understand which appliances use the most energy so you make some reasonable adjustments. 

3) Check your energy bill

Do you merely glance at your energy bill every month when it hits your inbox? You aren’t alone. Very few business owners scrutinize their monthly bill. 

There’s never been a better time to start! Look at your past few energy bills. Has your usage changed significantly from month to month? Are there any trends? 

How is your utility company charging you? Every energy bill will include:

  • Your actual usage in kWh
  • Utility fees charged by your provider

If you’re noticing a lot of add-on utility fees, consider looking for a different energy provider. You can decrease your bill by decreasing your energy usage, but additional utility charges aren’t great, either. 

Check the math on your bill, too. Nobody’s perfect, and there’s always a chance the utility company missed something. If so, call them and politely inform them of the error.

4) Install a smart meter

Did you know your business may have an energy meter that registers energy consumption? Even though metering technology has evolved in recent years, these meters can be difficult to read, or even access. 

If you’re trying to slash your business’s energy costs, consider installing a smart meter. You’ll need to contact your utility company to make a request to use these tech-enabled meters that have digital capabilities. Smart meters function as energy monitors that track your energy usage in real time so you see fewer surprises on your next bill. 

Top benefits of using a smart meter include:

  • More control over your energy consumption
  • More timely responses to outages
  • More efficient restoration of service
  • Efficient, automated services
  • Highly-detailed information
  • Increased privacy

5) Identify your biggest energy hogs

Your smart meter should give you an idea of when energy use spikes at your business. But another way to understand your electricity usage is to identify your business’s biggest energy hogs. 

Odds are, constantly-running systems like HVAC and refrigerators are to blame. The longer you run an appliance, the more energy it uses, and the higher your bill. But little inefficiencies, like outdated light bulbs, can drive up your bill if there are enough of them. 

Experiment with energy-saving options like Energy Star appliances and upgrade to LED bulbs. Regular HVAC tuneups can also prevent energy waste. As mentioned, there are many appliances that require a high volume of energy to run including lighting, computers, and printers. Be sure to turn lights off, use power-saver mode, and use timers to ensure you are not wasting electricity — and paying for it. 

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Stay on top of your electricity usage

You’re paying your energy bill, but does it really have to be so high? Empower yourself by following these 5 tips to understand and gain more control over your business’s electricity usage. 

But that’s just half of the equation. You can make your money go further by securing the best utility rates in your area. At EnergyBot, we provide businesses with personalized electricity rates and expert analysis. Contact us to chat about your business’s energy usage, compare rates, select a plan, and start saving today.