Better management of finance companies' energy costs is becoming more important due to strong competition and rising electricity prices. Businesses like commercial and investment banks, credit unions, CPA firms, and private investment firms are more and more reliant on technology. And that all runs on electricity.
It is ultimately about more than reducing bank operating costs and office expenses for financial firms. It is about improving energy efficiency to reduce your carbon footprint while meeting customer demands for responsible corporations. Every company must do its part in contributing to a healthier environment.
Energy Efficiency for Commercial and Investment Banks
Your reputation and your bottom line are equally important in banking and financial service companies. Bank energy efficiency is increasingly demanded by clients. And in a highly competitive marketplace, any edge in margin is worth pursuing. Lowering bank operating costs by eliminating energy waste is one way to achieve both aims.
Estimating operating costs for banks
After employee salaries and benefits and office space, technology and infrastructure come next. If your firm mines cryptocurrency, your energy usage could easily outstrip all other cost categories, making bank energy efficiency even more important.
For most firms, however, you will need to account for marketing, facility maintenance, legal, regulatory, and insurance. Then comes utilities. Banks cannot operate without electricity to keep the lights on, the HVAC humming, and, of course technology working. Benchmarking these expenses with estimates based on past costs will set the bar for improving efficiency.
Average bank energy consumption
The EPA estimates bank electricity use with a metric called Energy Use Intensity (EUI). It considers factors such as the size of the facility, its operating hours, and how many workers and computers per 1000 square feet are on site. The other parts of the calculation are the number of days heat is used and the number of days air conditioning is needed. The median ETU is 266, with most bank locations falling between between 100 and 500 ETU.
Energy efficiency tips for banks
Making bank locations more energy efficient will require small changes in habits and some upgrades in your space. Consider things that can lower your utility bills such as:
Measure energy consumption and conduct an energy audit. With a baseline as a benchmark, you can start monitoring your energy usage and measuring efficiency gains. An energy audit will help you identify and prioritize places where you can save.
Upgrade to LED lights. Simply by changing lights, you can save 75% or more electricity over incandescent bulbs. LED bulbs come in many light colors and intensities, so you can customize the ambiance in different areas of the work space.
Modernize your technology. Look for ENERGY STAR® computers and printers. In many cases, new equipment may pay for itself in energy savings. And don’t forget to choose energy-efficient appliances for the break room.
Automate turning off lights and equipment. Use smart plugs to automate disconnecting electronics from power at night. You can prevent the “vampire” draw of energy these devices waste when left unused, but still on or on an idle setting. These are just one of many small business energy efficiency tools.
Involve employees. Create a task force that generates and implements energy saving ideas. You’ll get better results than trying to dictate new rules.
Energy Efficiency Tips for Other Finance Businesses
The category of financial services is broad, but in most cases, you are talking about increasing energy efficiency in offices.
Tax and accounting firms energy efficiency
Office efficiency can reduce operating costs for your firm and is valued by your clients. Consider these options.
Perform an energy audit and ongoing measurements. You can only really manage what you measure. An energy audit will help you pinpoint and prioritize where you can save energy. With a baseline, you can measure efficiency gains and make adjustments.
Switch lighting. Replacing incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs will net you double digit energy saving. Many offices prefer them because the variety of light tones and intensities are superior to fluorescent without health issues.
Upgrade technology and appliances. You may find that new ENERGY STAR® rate computers and peripherals can pay for themselves, as do new appliances in your break room.
Create a smart office. A smart thermostat and automated window coverings can slash HVAC costs. Plugging in computers, printers, even the coffee machine into a smart plug gives you the ability to program when they turn off. You’ll stop wasting energy that many devices use in stand-by mode.
More energy-saving resources for finance businesses
Lowering bank operating costs is good for business. Getting a handle on finance companies’ energy costs will help you eliminate waste and improve profits, while benefiting the environment. We invite you to explore our Small Business Energy Savings resources for more ways to save energy and improve efficiency.