Some states are getting zinged by higher energy costs than others, according to the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council's 2009 Energy Cost Index, and that's bad news for small business. Topping the list as the most expensive states are Hawaii, New York, and Connecticut, while Wyoming, Idaho, and Utah round out the bottom.
The SBEC used data from AAA Fuel Gauge Report and the Energy Information Administration to determine an energy index for each state. According to AAA's report, Hawaiians are currently paying $2.73 on average per gallon for regular gasoline, whereas Wyoming residents pay $2.33 on average. Furthermore, the Energy Information Administration reports that those in Wyoming pay 5.76 cents per kilowatt hour on electricity, compared to 22.76 cents in Hawaii.
"The list is determined by electricity and gas prices, which hit the bottom line of every business in one way or another," says Raymond Keating, chief economist for the SBEC and author of the study.
However, regardless of the state you do business in, there are plenty of ways to create efficiency in your business and save big on energy costs, including: replacing old light bulbs with energy saving bulbs, turning off all computers at night, and avoiding placing thermostats in direct sunlight or drafts. Energysavers.gov, the U.S. Department of Energy's online resource for information on energy efficiency and renewable energy, offers advice on everything from buying efficient products to altering landscaping, to help businesses both become green and save green.