Small Business vs Residential Homes - Energy Conservation Efforts...

Which group is more inclined to examine energy use, capture historical data, make behavioral changes, and therefore actually SAVE MONEY by lowering utility bills?

Performing some commercial as well as residential general contracting, I've seen that many small business owners I speak with and work for are certainly in tune with their utility bill and that line item of their overhead expense (every line item for that matter, in this economy!). 

Unfortunately for small commercial business', it's a complicated and time-consuming endeavor to document existing and past energy-related expenses, find trustworthy professional consultants to advise you, take specific corrective energy conservation actions, and then document the results.  It often takes a year or longer to accurately track those changes, and few small companies have the resources to adopt that long-term view and head down that road.

The energy-conservation industry hasn't matured to such a degree that there are 'boilerplate' formats for all industries or company sizes to follow - it's still a very custom application and sale in the business community, and therefore more costly. 

On the Residential side it's a bit of a different story.  We have energy consultants we've utilized to help us 'rate' our clients’ homes and fairly quickly and efficiently summarize the major deficiencies and energy losses, and devise a plan of attack for the priority items.  It's more of a standardized approach, and therefore less costly. 

Often we've found that utility bills, as a percentage of budget, are higher for residences than small to medium sized retail business in commercial buildings (typically because the small business shares building walls), so homeowners can be a bit more motivated to make changes.  Plus, they obviously own their homes, whereas many small business lease.


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