Nonprofit Insurance Program

How To Stay Warm but Keep The Cost Down

By Kathi Fuhrman
December 12, 2014

As a non profit you put everything towards helping people. That means being careful where your resources are going. These tips will help keep your winter utility costs down, while ensuring your coworkers aren’t freezing either.

Most utility costs go towards heating. An automated thermostat can be your best friend in winter savings. Set it conservatively but comfortably. Never set it higher than needed. It will not warm any faster and will waste valuable energy. You can save further by setting the heat to lower -but not turn off- at the end of the day.

Weatherproofing also plays a large role in ensuring your heating dollars aren’t slipping out the door. Draftproofing doors, windows, and vents is an good start. An inexpensive option is a protective plastic cover over windows that are not a highlight. Heavy window treatments will help keep the cool at bay as well. Ensure your furnace is an energy efficient model if at all possible, and keep it maintained for peak performance.

Another thing that is a large cost is water heating. In a small business it is unlikely that a large water heater is necessary to meet demand. For just hand washing, a small model would be enough. And make sure it is energy efficient for the most savings. If you don’t have this freedom, you can make smaller changes like having the settings turned down. And wrapping the pipes to the water heater can save your hot water before it gets to you.

Electrical items in any office are likely to play a role in energy costs. High efficiency light bulbs and putting reflectors on fluorescent bulbs will make them more manageable. Never leave lights on, especially in rarely used rooms, like a restroom. Ensure computers are not left running -or are at least in standby- when not in direct use. Have all computers, printers, and other electronics on a power bar, and turn bars off when you leave. This includes coffee makers and microwaves. This will help prevent ghost power usage.

All of these upgrades to help you save money sound like they would cost a lot, but luckily many of them are quite reasonable. Many hydro companies will mail out weatherproofing packets for nothing, or a nominal charge. Hydro companies and manufacturers often have coupons available. And saving money on products, and on your utility bills, will help you continue helping others.

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