Making Sense Out Of Energy Deregulation

What small businesses need to know to cut back costs and boost their bottom lines

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Managing Energy Costs
Small-business owners who need to cut energy costs immediately can’t afford to wait for deregulation to perhaps one day pay off, experts say. Instead, they should consider ways to cut their expenses.

Use a budget plan. This allows you to pay a predetermined amount each month. If you use more energy during the year than budgeted for, you will have to make up the difference, but at least you can plan for the expense.

Request an energy audit. Go to your utility company, which will help you determine your largest energy costs and provide tips on purchasing energy-efficient equipment and changes in operation and maintenance practices. “Recommendations with associated returns on investment can be provided through the audit,” Graham says.

Buy energy-efficient equipment. Tax credits are available for the purchase and installation of energy-efficient equipment and products. For more information, check the U.S. Department of Energy’s Website at www.energy.gov/taxbreaks.htm.

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