Tips for Trimming Your Energy Bill
Jeff Grissler, Amazon Best Selling Author, Consultant and Educator
When it comes to running a salon, there are fixed expenses you can’t change like rent, payroll and insurance. So isn’t nice to know there’s one thing you can control and improve with a little effort—energy. That’s right, when you save energy, you save money.
Climate Control: The biggest part of your energy bill at the salon will be heating and cooling. Guests need to be comfortable when visiting, but you can still reduce these costs by being aware. Install electronic timers that automatically shut the system down or set the thermostat at an adequate level when the salon is empty at night and on days it is closed. The most important maintenance task that will ensure efficiency of your heating and air conditioning unit is to replace or clean the filters monthly. Installing ceilings fans gives your salon a comfortable look, but it also will have a major effect on cost savings during the summer and winter months, by circulating air which can make the salon’s temperature five degrees cooler in the summer when set in ‘counter-clockwise’ mode. When in ‘clockwise’ mode in the winter, the fans push warm trapped air down and draw cooler air upwards. So, remember to change your fan settings as the seasons change.
Appliances: The key to saving energy is buying energy-efficient appliances. Appliances should be Energy Star-labeled products. If you need a new fridge for the breakroom or a dryer for your laundry, spend the few dollars more for the energy-efficient machine—it may cost more when you make the purchase, but it will save you up to four percent a month on your utility bill.
Washer: When using your machine, make sure it is full. Do not wash towels on the hot setting. Use the cool setting; this will also save you money. This only works if you let your staff know the drill, so put directions right on the washer.
Dryer: Drying your salons’ towels and capes is essential; it is also one of the primary sources of wasted energy. Install a dryer vent to seal and save energy. This will eliminate any drafts from entering the salon when the dryer is not in use and could easily reduce your heating costs. Don’t overload your dryer. Overloading the dryer means it takes as much as three times longer to dry. You must have room in the dryer for items to tumble or towels will never dry. Overloading also will reduce the life of your dryer.
Lighting: Not only is lighting an important part of your salon’s décor, it is essential when trying to capture hair color or allowing a client to see a finished style. There are still ways to cut back. Replace as many incandescent light bulbs (the standard bulbs that get very hot) with energy-efficient CFLs (compact fluorescent lights). These bulbs uses as much as two-thirds less energy than standard light bulbs and last twice as long. You can save $30 or more in energy costs over the lifetime of each bulb. If you have lighting in your parking lot or side of your building, reduce your bills by using solar-powered path lighting or place the unit on a timer.
Computers: There is no need to have computers running 24-hours a day in the salon—that’s wasting energy and costing you money. You should preset your computer so that it either shuts down or hibernates when it’s not in use. You can install an energy-saving smart strips to you salon’s computer and support devices—the smart strip senses when you have shut down your computer, then it shuts down all the other devices automatically.
Team Effort: Saving energy is part of a salon team approach. Shutting off bathroom lights when not in use, not overloading the dryer, turning down the thermostat is something everyone in your salon has to have the discipline to do. For Earth Month next month, conduct a staff meeting and encourage your team to brainstorm energy-savings ideas and develop guidelines together to get everyone on board. Remember, when you save energy, you are saving money!