Smart energy devices are playing a bigger role in how small businesses transform to a more efficient and sustainable way to grow. A smart device is any electronic device that can be connected to your energy system, with or without the internet, that can interact with other devices and make some decisions on its own. Lighting, alarm systems, doorbells, office equipment and thermostats are examples of smart devices.
Smart energy devices are powerful because they help business owners reduce the number of daily decisions by automating simple tasks. This, in turn, has many benefits, like saving money, energy and time — all very important to every small business owner.
The Internet of Things continues to provide innovative solutions to everyday problems like remembering to turn off the lights or controlling your office door from your home. As smart technology and devices grow more popular, business owners now have more options to save energy. From regulating the temperature to controlling traditional devices like copiers to putting certain rooms on an automated lighting schedule, smart products make it easy to cut energy costs.
Adding a few gadgets or apps to your small business can really make a difference on your sales, costs and customer experience in the most effective manner.
Here are a few smart energy devices that will help you go green and go smart in your small business.
- Smart Thermostats: A smart thermostat can help you create a temperature schedule around your business hours. With your new smart thermostat, you can even control the temperatures of individual rooms from anywhere with access to the internet from your phone.
- Smart Lighting: Try using smart lighting sensors to light up spaces when you enter a room and turn off automatically when you leave. One of the major reasons energy bills can be high is we forget to turn off lights when we do not need them.
- Smart Controls: Purchasing a business security system involves more than some locks and a control panel. You can get everything from motion detectors to flood monitors to protect your property. Most systems include a smart app for monitoring and controlling the system.
- Digital Assistants: We have all heard about Apple’s Siri, Google’s Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana, but what do they do? They are voice assistants that use voice-activated apps and AI technology. As a result, they can help you get directions, research, make appointments and control many appliances that use energy.
- Inventory Control: Small businesses can save a lot of money by going paperless to control inventory. A new inventory system helps you track products, predict demand and optimize inventory levels at all times.
- Smart Appliances: Investing in smart appliances for your workplace like intuitive, Energy Star appliances such as microwave ovens, refrigerators and air conditioners can cut down your power costs. They make a significant difference to your utility bill each month.
A word of caution, though. When you install smart devices in your business, make sure you follow the correct instructions to avoid creating cyber vulnerabilities in your business. Chances are, when you make a purchase, it will come with instructions, and you can search for how-to videos online. If you feel like it is beyond your expertise, do not be afraid to call the company for technical support.
Utilizing smart energy devices can make our lives easier, especially while running a business. These technologies simplify many functions in our daily lives and work procedures to streamline your business’s energy management. Consider using smart energy devices to simplify the way you and your team work.
If you are interested in learning how to take more actions to transform your small business to be cleaner and greener, check out the Going Green and Going Smart Program. It is completely online and free. This program offers on-demand learning and webinars with sustainability experts focused on helping small businesses in Arizona go green for brighter future.
EDGAR RAFAEL OLIVO is a bilingual business educator, economic advisor, and contributor for several media outlets. He’s a nonprofit executive who is passionate about education. He is certified in finance and data analytics and holds a business degree from Arizona State University.
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