Attention Tenants with a Triple Net Lease: Lower Utility Bills This Summer July 2, 2015 | Samantha Dubrow

So far, this summer has been so hot that I’ve almost forgotten how dreadfully cold it was this winter.

 
They say, “Be careful what you wish for.” With our wishes for winter to end, I think we accidentally wished for sweating through our shirts on the way to the office, gaining weight from eating so much ice cream as we attempt to keep cool, and paying half our income in utilities bills so we can blast the air conditioning.
 
I’m serious about the bills. Did you know 59% of your utility bills this summer will come from cooling costs?
 
Better question: Is there any way to escape from this dreaded heat without breaking the bank?
 
Yes!
 
Building tenants with a triple net lease: listen up. If you want to save on your utility bills this summer while maximizing productivity at the office, these tips are for you.

Tip #1: Turn the Temperature UP!

What?!
 
Yep, you read that right.
 
I want you to get up from your desk right now, walk over to the thermostat, and turn it up. Five degrees. Yes, five. While you’re in the office, it should be about 76 Degrees Fahrenheit, and when you leave for the night you should set the temperature as high at 80 Degrees. Or, just turn the AC completely off.
 
Ok, now that you’re back at your desk (I know you just pretended to go to the bathroom or that you needed to talk to someone, because no one would be caught dead making it hotter in the office during the summer) I’ll explain why you just made it so much warmer.
 
For every degree Fahrenheit you turn up the thermostat this summer, you will save 3-5% on your utility bill.
 
Don’t worry about doing the math in your head– trust me, it’s a lot of money.
 
We all make our offices way colder than we need to during the summer because we want to immediately become ice cubes when we escape the summer heat.
 
However, you get used to the cold much faster than you think. So even if the office isn’t blissfully freezing when you walk in the door, you’ll still be perfectly comfortable in ten minutes. The dollar savings will be worth the patience.
 

Tip #2: Shun Natural Light

Yes, I know this may also be counterintuitive. It’s beautiful and sunny outside, and you should be enjoying it, right? Wrong.
 
The sun is hot.
 
Let’s let that sink in.
 
What do hot things do when they stream through glass windows?
 

You nailed it! They make the rooms on the other side of the glass hotter. And hotter rooms are harder for air conditioners to cool.

The time to enjoy the sunshine is after work when the heat has broken but it’s still light out, not during the day when it’s unbearable.
 
You might have to turn a few extra lights on if you don’t have enough natural light coming it, but the extra lights will cost less than the extra AC.
 
Love natural light while you’re at the office? Fine. Just shut the blinds at night and reopen them in the morning. Even the savings you’ll receive from the few hours between sunrise and when you arrive at work will be significant. And during the weekends, just keep them shut.
 

Tip #3: Seal Your Ducts

When was the last time someone actually checked on your HVAC? Do you have any idea if there are leaks or holes?
 
If you paused trying to answer either of those questions, the answer is too long.
 
If you have a triple net lease, you’re the one paying for the cooling in your office, not your landlord. Maximizing the energy efficiency of your space is on YOU, so take charge!
Sealing your ducts doesn’t have to be a hassle, and it doesn’t have to be expensive. For the most part, there’s no reason to hire a professional since you can fix the problem yourself.
 
Temporary solutions can be pieces of vinyl or foam, so take a few minutes to make it a do-it-yourself project.
 

Tip #4: Get Some Fans

No, I don’t mean fans of your company’s Facebook page.
 
Go down the street to the home goods store and buy a few fans. They will actually use less energy than your HVAC. Since you’re still skeptical about making your office temperature warmer, fans will help circulate the air. Sometimes you don’t need a cooler temperature, you just need a fresh breeze.
 
And, obviously, don’t forget to turn the fans off when you leave the office for the evening.
 
See, that wasn’t so bad. You could use most of these simple solutions right now and no one would even notice you were gone from your desk. (Let’s be honest, how much work are you really doing during the summer anyway? How many more “Out of office” emails can you receive today before you pull all of your hair out?)
 
So, great, you read this article. You made it all the way to the end of the page. Now what? Are you just going to forget what you read and move on?
 
That would be a waste of time, wouldn’t it?
 
The answer to this problems is simple. Just pass along this article to your colleagues!
 
If you really want to have fun, start a challenge. Have an office party at the end of the summer with your extra funds if you manage to save 10% on your bills this summer compared to last summer.
 

Were these tips helpful? Will you actually use any of them? Is there anything we missed? Let us know in the comments section below!

Energy Efficiency, Utility Bills

About The Author

When Samantha isn’t writing for the blog or managing our HR like a champ, she studies Organizational Psychology at George Washington University.