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When it’s chilly outside, businesses need to maintain an inside temperature that keeps both employees and customers warm and productive. But heating can also drive energy bills higher.

Keep your business’s energy use low this winter by following these five tips from Tucson Electric Power energy-efficiency experts:

  1. Lower the Temperature

Your business can keep comfortable without cranking up the heat too high. By adjusting the thermostat by just one degree, overall energy costs can drop by 2-3 percent.

“Set your thermostat at temperature that is comfortable – and then turn it down one more notch,” said Art Fregoso, TEP’s Manager of Technical Services for Commercial Account Services.

Don’t expect to save money by turning off the heat overnight – you’ll use even more energy to heat up the building again in the morning. Instead, adjust the thermostat by a few degrees after closing time.

Ceiling fans can also help, even in the winter. Change the rotation of your fan blades to clockwise, which will pull down warm air and spread it throughout the room.

  1. Let in the Light

Open up blinds and sun shades to allow sunlight to heat up the room, especially on south- or west-facing windows.

“Natural light can warm the space and also reduce the need for lighting, which also uses electricity,” said Paul Geary, a TEP energy-efficiency expert.

When you need to turn on lights, save energy by using LED bulbs.

In areas that get little use, like storage and conference rooms, install sensors so lights will automatically go off when employees are working elsewhere.

  1. Control Airflow

Make sure cold air isn’t drifting into your business by checking weather stripping and caulking on your windows.

Also, get a tune-up on your heater to ensure your system is operating efficiently. New, clean air filters can improve airflow and heating.

  1. Monitor Energy Use

Learn more about your business’s energy use through My Energy Usage in My Account on or on the TEP mobile app. Track monthly, daily and hourly electric usage with My Energy Usage.

This information will help you determine if your business could save money with a time-of-use pricing plan by reducing energy use during on-peak times. From October to April, on-peak hours are 6-10 a.m. and 5-9 p.m. Monday through Friday.

  1. Save on Energy-Efficient Products

TEP offers rebates on energy-saving products that can help businesses cut costs by operating more efficiently.

Customers can apply for rebates on a range of products, including high-efficiency lighting and heating and cooling equipment, through the EasySave program for small businesses and schools and the EasySave Plus program for larger businesses.

Check the Commercial Energy Solutions website for available rebates and incentives.

For specific ways that your type of businesses can save on energy costs, check the ENERGY STAR website.

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