Why ‘Going Green’ Makes Sense for Small Businesses

There was a time in recent history when businesses and consumers didn’t give much thought to how their actions affected the environment. But today, many people recognize the importance of reducing waste and using energy wisely.

On April 2, businesses in downtown Frederick participated in the city’s annual Go Green event, which aims to promote green business practices. Embracing efficiency can reduce overall business costs, as well as attract consumers who value environmental stewardship.

Identifying Need

Businesses may not always recognize when their operations or processes are wasting energy, but free assessments can help identify ways businesses can be more efficient.

Pepco C&I Energy offers an onsite Quick Energy Check-Up in which inspectors can review a business and provide a list of free and low-cost changes to improve energy efficiency, along with recommendations for major overhauls that would be eligible for financial incentives or rebates.

Potomac Edison provides an online Business Energy Analyzer that can help businesses identify ways to be more energy efficient. Potomac Edison customers may register online, using their utility bill, to get recommendations about how to improve the efficiency of their electricity usage.

Simple Changes, Big Impact

Entrepreneurs working long hours might be too busy to notice the ways employees are wasting energy. A light bulb left burning in a storeroom, for example, wastes a lot of money over time.

Businesses may be able to improve efficiency by:

  • Installing motion sensors for exterior security lights and in interior spaces like break rooms and storage rooms, so lights turn on when a person triggers the motion sensor and turn off after movement has stopped
  • Getting a professional tune-up of heating and cooling systems before each winter and summer, as well as changing furnace filters every month during the winter
  • Controlling drafts and sunlight – for example, installing retractable shades to keep sun from penetrating windows in the summer and using weather stripping around windows and doors to improve the efficiency of heating and air conditioning and reduce drafts
  • Configuring computers and monitors to go into sleep mode when not in use and using rechargeable batteries for wireless keyboards and other accessories
  • Buying ENERGY STAR-certified equipment; a wide range of products – photocopiers, commercial fryers, low-flow shower heads for hotels – can help business owners in a variety of industries save money

Incentives for Major Upgrades

If energy loss is a continuing problem, more aggressive changes may be required. Replacing large single-pane windows, installing a new furnace or even installing solar panels can reduce energy costs, but these products often require a significant up-front investment.

Rebates and incentives from utility providers, product manufacturers, and governmental agencies can offset some of the costs associated with environmentally friendly upgrades. The Maryland Energy Association offers such perks, such as cash assistance for businesses installing wind turbines or solar-powered systems and a grant program for businesses wishing to retrofit inefficient lighting systems and electrical wiring.

Any improvement to energy efficiency will reduce costs over time. In the realm of small business, peer relationships and collaboration are an important factor in continued growth and success. Adopting sustainable practices can bolster brand reputation, foster improved business connections, and attract new customers.

Lusk Law, LLC, specializes in assisting small business owners, helping to avoid litigation when possible, and we’re ready to actively represent our clients in court when litigation is necessary. Our experienced attorneys have provided legal counsel and representation to entrepreneurs in Frederick County, Howard County, Baltimore County, Baltimore City, Carroll County, Washington County, and Anne Arundel County, and other counties in Maryland. With over a decade of experience providing counsel to businesses, we’re ready to offer a consultation concerning your rights. Please call us at 443-535-9715 or fill out our contact form if you have any questions about this topic.

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