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The Best Ways for Employers to Mitigate Rising Energy Costs

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Pennsylvania has been experiencing a steady increase in energy prices, which has led to higher costs for consumers. Employers can help mitigate rising energy costs by implementing these recommendations:

Invest in energy-efficient technology. By upgrading to energy-efficient equipment, businesses can significantly reduce their energy expenses over time. This is particularly important for energy-intensive industries such as manufacturing or data centers.

For example, the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE): is a comprehensive online database, https://www.dsireusa.org/, which provides information on federal, state and local incentives for renewable energy and energy efficiency. Employers can search for relevant incentives and programs specific to their location and technology.

Implement energy conservation measures. Consider lighting upgrades, HVAC optimization, insulation and weatherization, power management and employee awareness. Conduct regular energy audits to identify areas of inefficiency and prioritize energy-saving opportunities:

  • The Pennsylvania Small Business Advantage Grant Program, administered by the Pennsylvania DEP, provides free energy assessments to small businesses (up to 100 employees) in Pennsylvania.
  • The Pennsylvania Sustainable Energy Fund (SEF) provides free energy audits to
  • commercial and industrial businesses in Pennsylvania.
  • Many utility companies in Pennsylvania also offer free energy audits or assessments to their commercial and industrial customers. Examples include Energy Smart Industrial program, the West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund, and the PECO Smart Ideas program.

Explore alternative energy sources. Look at solar power, wind power, biomass energy, geothermal energy, energy storage and Combined Heat and Power (CHP). Employers should consult with energy experts or renewable energy providers to determine the most suitable alternative energy options to reduce energy costs while aligning with their sustainability goals.

TWO-THIRDS OF SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS REDUCING ENERGY CONSUMPTION BY CUTTING COSTS

Energy usage can be a huge cost for businesses, which is why so many small business owners are looking to reduce it by adopting a rather holistic approach with all things having been considered and taken into account. According to a survey that was conducted by Smart Energy GB, two out of every three business owners are looking to reduce costs in order to simultaneously reduce how much energy they use.

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that 20 percent of businesses have stopped using paper to reduce the amount of energy that they consume. Twenty-nine percent have gone so far as to turn down the temperature on their heaters so that things can become more manageable than might have been the case otherwise.

Twenty-six percent have even stopped using heaters entirely, with 24 percent stating that they are lowering their thermostat settings because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up greatly reducing energy consumption in the long run.

Another tactic that is being used by small businesses is switching the type of lightbulbs that they are putting in. Thirty-two percent have started to use lower energy lightbulbs, and 24 percent said that they are being more strategic about how they utilize electric kettles and other similar kinds of appliances.

Managing their premises also seems to be a top priority for small businesses as far as energy use reduction is concerned. Nineteen percent of small business owners said that they are considering reducing the number of hours that they keep their offices open for.

RENEWABLE ENERGY SECTOR CREATING GREEN JOBS BOOM

The Renewable Energy and Jobs: Annual Review 2022 report shows that an increasing number of countries are creating jobs in the renewable energy sector. It says this jobs boom could increase worldwide employment in renewable energy to more than 38 million by 2030.

Solar photovoltaic (PV) has so far provided the biggest share of renewable energy jobs at 4.3 million, hydropower and biofuels with 2.4 million each, and wind power with 1.3 million. Other sectors such as geothermal, heat pumps and ocean energy make up the rest of the jobs growth.

Almost two-thirds of these jobs are in Asia, according to IRENA’s data. China is way ahead of the pack as the country with the most renewable jobs, making up 42 percent of the global total. It’s followed by the European Union and Brazil with 10 percent each, and the USA and India both at 7 percent.

For more information on how to create a more cost-effective energy plan for your business, contact the MBA’s EnergyAdvisors team at 814/833-3200, 800/815-2660 or visit mbausa.org.

Judy Rosatti
is an EnergyAdvisor for the MBA’s EnergyAdvisors program, a free service for MBA members only. Contact her at 814/833-3200, 800/815-2660 or jrosatti@mbausa.org.