Business energy checkup

How do you rate? Find out TODAY with PG&E's Free Business Energy Checkup

By Megan Porter

Knowledge is power. As a small business owner, you've probably heard that line hundreds — even thousands — of times. You know that the more you understand about your market, your customers and your competition, the more successful your business will be.

Take a closer look inside your business.

Unfortunately, the fact is that many small business owners are so focused on trying to understand the ever-changing, customer-focused elements of their business that they sometimes neglect other, more straightforward opportunities to improve their bottom line without even stepping foot outside their building.

Instead of constantly chasing more revenue, business owners should keep a close eye on their current operational costs. More specifically, identify how efficiently (or not) energy is being used by asking these types of questions:

  • How much energy does my business use after the business day is over?
  • Are we spending too much money each month by keeping our building cooler or warmer than it needs to be — especially when no one is here?
  • Is our equipment running as efficiently as it could?
  • Do our employees know how much we spend on energy each month?
  • How quickly would an investment in purchasing new, more efficient equipment pay off?
  • How does my energy use compare with other businesses like mine?

To help customers answer these types of questions, PG&E created the Business Energy Checkup tool — a free, interactive, online resource for small business customers to help them better track their energy usage over a period of time. Powered with this important information, business owners and facilities managers are able to determine exactly where, when and how much energy is being used each day, week or month.

Based on this data, management and employees can then work together to further investigate any areas of concern and make the necessary changes in either behavior or equipment to address the issue. What's more, as these changes occur, businesses can also track their progress against both the short-term and long-term goals they set up.

The Business Energy Checkup tool from PG&E: Power to the people.

Already, thousands of PG&E's small to medium business (SMB) customers just like you have successfully used the PG&E Business Energy Checkup tool to help them closely monitor and compare their energy use with similar businesses based on size, location or industry.

Additionally, the tool can also help business owners identify potential energy and money savings opportunities by providing direct online links to relevant information about available rebate programs and best practices.

Empowered with this information, SMBs across California are now taking a smarter approach to controlling their energy usage and tracking their progress every step of the way.

Measurement is the first step.

As well-known author, engineer and business management consultant Dr. H. James Harrington once said, "Measurement is the first step… If you can't measure something, you can't understand it. If you can't understand it, you can't control it. If you can't control it, you can't improve it."

Still, the ability to capture and record even the most precise measurements is practically useless unless it can be put into the right context. Data is only useful when it can be compared to something both meaningful and relevant — apples to apples, so to speak.

That's why PG&E developed the Business Energy Checkup tool with the ability for customers to easily compare their energy usage with not only businesses located in their city or town, but also with businesses located elsewhere that operate in the same industry, in a similar sized building with the same type of equipment.

Are you a butcher, baker or candlestick maker?

We understand that your business is unique. After all, that's likely one of the main reasons why you are still in business. Your customers rely on you to deliver something — a product, service or experience — that they can't get anywhere else.

That said, there are still certain elements of operating your business that are not so different from others. After all, pretty much every butcher shop has multiple refrigeration units. Every bakery — both large and small — has ovens and ventilation systems. And candlestick makers… well, you get the idea.

In other words, the way that a typical accounting office uses energy is going to be very different from how a florist, coffee shop or car dealership uses energy. And, more importantly for PG&E customers, learning how other similar types of businesses are improving their overall energy efficiency is the most effective way to accurately identify the most appropriate items to focus on.

Curious about how your business rates? Find out today at My Energy from PG&E.

Sign up or log in to My Energy today and find out how your business rates among your peers. It's free. Setup is easy and takes only a few minutes. Business owners can also use PG&E's My Energy online portal to quickly and easily compare rate plans, calculate potential savings and find the best value options available.

As your business grows, your PG&E My Energy profile can grow with you to reflect any changes in your operations and identify new opportunities to save.

For more resources on energy saving programs, including available rebates and financing options, download PG&E's "Insider's Guide to Financing Energy Efficiency Projects" for insights on successful planning.

Questions about your business's energy usage? Find out how to reduce energy and save money.
  • SMB Blog Author
    Megan Porter
    Senior Program Marketing Manager at PG&E, is a recognized leader in solutions marketing for small and medium-sized businesses. Megan uses her proven and practical expertise to bring energy efficiency education to businesses in every industry. In this vital role, she develops and oversees highly successful initiatives that result in the adoption of more efficient long-term energy management behaviors.

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