Business Energy Checkup

Is an Online Energy Audit Worth My Time?

By Megan Porter

As a business owner, you may find it difficult to carve out time for an online energy audit, but investing in business energy efficiency is not only worth your time, it’s the best use of it. In just seven minutes, you can input common, off-the-cuff knowledge about your business operations into an online audit using the Business Energy Checkup tool and receive an energy savings plan to decrease energy costs. The result: potentially thousands in yearly savings and a reduced carbon footprint for your establishment. Learn what to expect from an online audit and have your most common concerns put to rest to discover the true worth of an online energy audit.

What to expect from the online audit
When filling out the online energy audit provided within the Business Energy Checkup tool, you can expect to input information about your operations that you already know. Questions include what type of business you run, how many days you operate and if you use gas or electricity for heating. Expect to register and fill out the profile in just seven minutes, or roughly the time it takes to brew a pot of coffee.

Once you’ve gone through the Business Energy Checkup, you’ll receive a snapshot of current usage practices and an energy savings plan with relevant and specific energy efficiency recommendations. The suggested changes outline the best ways you can modify your business practices to implement detailed cost savings and include timelines for seeing returns on your energy investments. Use this to inform energy efficiency budgeting that allows for small dollar changes immediately and works up to more involved upgrades as you realize cost savings.

Answers for common concerns
The most common misconception about filling out the online energy audit within the Business Energy Checkup tool is that rigorous research is required. But there’s no need to worry that you won’t have the time to look up information because no research is necessary. What’s more, pictures make it easy to remember details that you may not have already committed to memory. Can’t remember whether you use halogen bulbs or fluorescents? No problem. Pictures of common bulbs and other energy use items help jog your memory as you take the energy audit and make it simple to fill out. Additionally, the Business Energy Checkup tool works with the knowledge you have available to give you immediate results on your current level of business energy efficiency. If you don’t know the answer to a specific question, just fill in the “I don’t know” option and move on. Your results are generated based on the information that you do know so your energy savings won’t be held up.

The next deterrent that commonly prevents business owners from filling out an online energy audit is the belief that it takes a significant amount of time to implement the recommendations within the energy savings plan. However, the recommendations within the Business Energy Checkup tool include practices you can start implementing now at no cost. There’s no need to get overwhelmed with suggestions for improving energy efficiency. Detailed recommendations tell you exactly what you need to know to assess your situation quickly and make money immediately. Start with low-hanging fruit and plan around the larger upgrades you choose to incorporate into your operations.

Finally, budgetary concerns associated with executing energy audit recommendations are met with cost-effective answers. Many small to medium-sized businesses operate under tight budgets that don’t allow for additional costs, even if those expenses create future cost savings. However, in addition to some no-cost recommendations, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) offers fantastic energy efficiency rebate programs accessed easily from within the Business Energy Checkup tool. In fact, some rebate offers cover the complete cost savings, so your budget doesn’t suffer and you realize pure savings without cost. Furthermore, On-Bill Financing allows business owners to pay for the cost of an energy efficiency upgrade simply by paying their regular utility bill each month. The service provides energy efficiency budgeting for you, diverting costs saved from the investment each month to the initial expense of the project until the loan is paid off.

Other benefits of the Business Energy Checkup tool
Additional benefits of the Business Energy Checkup tool stem from the information you share with others, specifically energy savings data like how many tons of CO2 your measures are diverting annually. Use the Business Energy Checkup tool as the logical starting point to rally a large-scale green initiative, realize additional cost savings and build support for additional efforts that involve your entire team. Incorporating the Business Energy Checkup as part of your business practice displays a corporate commitment to reducing carbon emissions and builds team support for additional efforts toward a long-term energy savings plan.

Additional resources
Looking to learn more about how to best reduce energy usage and see maximum benefits to your business? Download PG&E’s "20 Sustainable Products" eBook to discover new energy efficient tactics.


  1. Pacific Gas and Electric Company
  2. Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Is an Online Energy Audit Worth My Time?
  • 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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