Energy Efficiency & Savings
Virtually any small business can improve its energy efficiency easily and cost-effectively, using the numerous resources that are available on-line from ENERGY STAR, as well as through MI Green Team and its member network. Check our the resources and incentives provided by your utility company. DTE customers can start with the YES - Energy Analyzer free, interactive on-line energy audit/savings tool. An on-site energy audit provided by a qualified energy services company is a great place to start. See the MGT Member directory for leading local providers.
Green Power & Renewable Energy
After addressing energy-efficiency opportunities available in your facility, you may also want to consider renewable energy and green power. Renewable energy refers to electricity supplied from energy sources, such as wind, solar, geothermal, hydro, and biomass. These energy sources are considered renewable sources because they are continuously replenished. DTE customers can participate in Green Currents to support renewable energy production and Solar Currents, which offers a generous subsidy for installing your own solar electric system.
Employing energy-efficient technology such as ENERGY STAR qualified products can help reduce emissions (air pollution) from power plants that produce energy. Carbon dioxide emission is a primary cause of global climate change, sulfur dioxide is a key component of acid rain, and nitrogen oxide is responsible for smog.
New Building Design
The intent of energy-efficient design for new construction and/or remodeling is to utilize efficient equipment while optimizing the use of natural energy sources. The ultimate goal is to provide increased comfort with reductions in energy costs and greenhouse gas pollution.
You may not think of your business' paper use as an area to save energy, but it is. Paper manufacturers in the U.S. consume a significant amount of energy each year in the production of paper — not to mention the energy spent harvesting and shipping trees, and shipping paper products to your business. There are some simple steps you can follow to optimize your use of this valuable resource that will save money, reduce waste, protect our nation's forests and reduce energy consumption!
It does not matter what type of business you have or what type of facility you run — there is some amount of material you use that can be recycled. From aluminum cans, and glass and plastic bottles, to used oil and printer toner cartridges, recycling reduces the amount of waste materials that are put in landfills or incinerated while decreasing greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation. That's good for everybody! Ask your building management or waste handler about recycling opportunities.
You may wonder what water use and saving energy have to do with each other? In most cases, electricity or gas are used to heat water, and this costs you money. In addition, your water company uses energy to purify and pump water to your business as well as in the treatment of your sewage. So part of your water and sewage bill is really an energy bill. The more water your business consumes, the more you will benefit from optimizing water use.
Small Business Trends
One thing is for sure, as a small business owner you are not alone! There are millions of small businesses across the United States traveling the same road as you each and every day. Although your business operates in its own unique fashion, the cumulative impact of the small business sector is enormous.