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Energy Tips for Small Businesses

Office Equipment

  • Turn off all office equipment and lights every night and weekend. If you can't turn off the whole computer, turn off the monitor and the printer.
  • When purchasing computers, monitors, printers, fax machines and copiers, consider ENERGY STAR models that “power down” after a user-specified period of inactivity.
  • Use email instead of sending memos and faxing documents.
  • If you need to print, consider double-sided printing and reusing paper.


  • Retrofit T12 lights with magnetic ballasts to T8 lights with electronic ballasts.
  • Replace incandescent light lamps with compact fluorescent lamps.
  • Consider removing excess fluorescent lights and installing reflectors. Lighter colored walls need less light.
  • Install motion detectors to control lighting in frequently unoccupied areas, such as restrooms.
  • Retrofit incandescent or fluorescent exit signs with long-lasting, low-energy LED exit signs.
  • Clean dusty diffusers and lamps every 6-12 months for improved lumen output.


  • Set thermostats at 78 degrees for cooling in the summer and 68 degrees for heating in the winter.
  • Install electronic time clocks or setback-programmable thermostats to maximize efficiency.
  • Install locking covers on your thermostats to prevent employees from tampering with temperature settings.
  • Regularly clean condenser coils, replace air filters, and check ducts and pipe insulation for damage.
  • Consider installing an air conditioning economizer to bring in outside air when cool outside.
  • Consider replacing old HVAC systems with new energy-efficient systems.
  • Install ceiling fans.
  • Install blinds or solar screen shades. Use reflective window film or awnings on all south-facing windows.
  • Install ceiling and wall insulation.
  • Insulate water heaters and supply pipes.


  • Perform scheduled maintenance on units, especially keeping evaporator coils clean and free of ice build-up.
  • Adjust door latches, replace worn door gaskets, install autoclosers, and add strip curtains to walk-in doors.
  • Use night covers on both vertical and horizontal display cases.
  • Disconnect anti-condensate heaters.
  • Keep refrigerators full to maintain temperature better (water jugs make good fillers).

Food Service Equipment

  • Consider replacing some or all electric cooking equipment with comparably sized gas-fired equipment.
  • Purchase insulated cooking equipment whenever possible (e.g., fryers, ovens, coffee machines).
  • Preheat cooking equipment no longer and at no higher setting than the manufacturer's recommendation.
  • Use cooking equipment to capacity. Fully loaded equipment utilizes energy more efficiently. Turn off unused and backup equipment during low production periods.
  • Filter fryer oil at least once a day to extend the oil life.
  • Don't overload fryer baskets beyond the recommended capacity. Overloading increases cook time.
  • Where applicable, replace broilers with grooved or smooth griddles to significantly reduce the associated energy consumption.
  • Make sure oven doors fit tightly and gaskets are in good condition.
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