The COVID-19 pandemic forced nearly six in ten New Jersey businesses to reduce expenses and overhead to weather the storm, according to the 62nd Annual Business Outlook Survey from the New Jersey Business & Industry Association. Some even made the difficult decision to cut salaries and lay off employees. Many expect hardships to continue, with nearly half of businesses surveyed saying it may take more than a year to recover lost profit.
Businesses looking for some bottom-line relief should consider investing in energy efficiency improvements. After all, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 30% of energy used in commercial buildings is wasted on outdated and inefficient lighting and equipment.
Some business leaders are understandably concerned about spending money to save energy in this economic climate. Yet when you consider the many financial benefits that come with improving the performance of a building’s lighting, HVAC system, and other energy-consuming equipment, the choice becomes clearer.
Increased employee productivity. Many studies highlight the productivity gains associated with energy efficiency. Carnegie Mellon’s Center for Building Performance and Diagnostics identifies 12 studies in which improved lighting design increases individual employee productivity by as much as 23%. Another study from Cornell University found that employees of a Florida insurance company were more likely to make mistakes in their work when the office was cold rather than at optimal temperatures. Employees can better focus on the tasks at hand in a building that is more comfortable, quieter, healthier, and well-lit through energy efficiency improvements.
Reduced downtime. Equipment failure that shuts down business for even a few hours can mean lost sales and lost productivity. Improvements like weatherization and adding variable speed drives to motorized systems can help maintain optimal operating conditions and reduce strain on motors.
Improved customer loyalty. Corporate social responsibility research reveals that consumers prefer companies that demonstrate environmental responsibility. A 2017 study from Cone Communications finds that 89% of American consumers would be likely to switch brands to one that is associated with a good cause, given similar price and quality. In that same study, 88% said they would be more loyal to a company that supports environmental or social issues. A commitment to energy efficiency is a commitment to the environment.
More money to reinvest in the business. Energy cost savings and other financial benefits unlocked through energy efficiency improvements mean there is more to invest into developing new products and offering new services that can be revenue generators.
PSE&G can help businesses identify energy saving opportunities through the Business Energy Saver Program, which is part of New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program. Financial incentives are available to reduce upfront costs toward the installation of energy-saving equipment, and on-bill repayment is available to spread out the balance of project costs. To learn more about the Business Energy Saver Program and to start finding energy-saving opportunities, visit bizsave.pseg.com.
Disclaimer: Sponsored content articles do not reflect the opinions of New Jersey Business magazine or the New Jersey Business & Industry Association.Related Articles: