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RachelleW posted a blog entry in Shades of an Apple Green HomeOne of the biggest costs for businesses is their utilities. It costs a lot of money to heat and cool large spaces, and businesses that run a lot of machinery or electronics use a lot of electricity. Also, many businesses are housed in older buildings that aren't very energy efficient. However, there are ways that businesses can cut their energy bills. Here are four ways commercial facilities can save energy by going green. Change Habits One of the easiest and most inexpensive ways commercial facilities can go green and save energy is by changing the habits of employees. For example, the company might do a building-wide push to have people turn off lights, computers and other electronic devices at the end of the day. This seems like a small change, but it can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year. Make Energy-Efficient Improvements Commercial spaces often are older and may not have energy-efficient features, so if you are willing to make the investment, you can make improvements to your commercial space that will help you go green and save money on energy. Some of the improvements you could make could include changing all the lighting to more energy-efficient types such as compact fluorescent light bulbs, replacing windows, and installing solar panels or a geothermal heating and cooling system. Keep up on Your Maintenance Taking care of the existing systems you have can help your commercial building operate more efficiently and make your business greener. Some companies, like Ragan Mechanical Inc., realize that if you have a boiler system for heating, it needs regular maintenance to operate at its best. The same goes for gas and electrical appliances, manufacturing machinery and any other appliances or machinery you have in your business that use energy. Cut Down on Paper and Packaging One of the ways businesses can go green is to change the way they interact with customers. Two of the most common ways to do this are to cut down on paper and packaging. Encourage your customers to receiving billing statements, receipts, invoices and other correspondence electronically to cut down on paper use. You also can look at overhauling your packaging to use less of it. Not only will these moves make your business greener by producing less waste, they also will save you money. Many businesses see "going green" as an added cost, but it doesn't necessarily have to be. Many energy-efficient improvements fulfill a legitimate business purpose and actually save you money.