A Costco warehouse in Lancaster installed solar panels and uses Southern California Edison’s (SCE) Savings by Design program to make sure not a penny is wasted on energy inefficiency. Nordstrom stores across SCE’s service territory earned more than $526,000 in demand-response incentives for shifting or avoiding energy usage. And all seven Westfield Shopping malls SCE serves avoided 250 million kilowatt-hours in energy usage by installing new technologies and taking advantage of programs that reward energy-efficiency measures.

Businesses of all types and sizes in SCE’s territory have access to solutions that can help them save money and energy and become environmentally responsible.

“Green for us is a double entendre,” says Jack Gillett, operations manager at Westfield Santa Anita shopping center in Arcadia. “ ‘Green’ in the sense of being environmentally responsible is also ‘green’ as in sound management and improved profitability. Nowadays the two are inseparable. The perception used to be that being ‘green’ involved financial sacrifice. That’s exactly the opposite of what we know now.”

SCE has rewarded more than 100,000 business customers with at least $350 million in rebates and incentives for making their businesses more energy efficient over the past three years.

“It’s always the right time to plan a business energy strategy, whether the operation is just starting out, growing or well-established,” said Lisa Cagnolatti, SCE vice president, Business Customer Division. “It’s our mission to partner with all our customers to make sure they’re getting the most from their energy dollar.”

The best way to conserve energy is to conserve water. Nineteen percent of the energy used in the state goes toward pumping and treating water, and in some places, half the water usage is for landscaping.  Motors in pumping and blower systems account for more than 80 percent of a water facility’s total energy usage.

Local water agencies can provide specific advice on best practices and water-saving incentives.

Meanwhile, retail buildings in the U.S. spend more than $18.8 billion on electricity — more than $13.7 billion of which comes from malls. Enclosed and strip malls use more energy than non-mall retail buildings, accounting for 62 percent of U.S. retail floor space but 72 percent of energy expenditures.

And office buildings account for about 60 percent of the electricity in California, with about 30 percent of office expenditures going toward electricity.

Businesses can get started on their energy strategy by visiting www.sce.com/EnergyTips, which has information by business type, size and industry, or by calling 1-800-990-7788. Customers can also find safety and conservation tips on Twitter at www.twitter.com/SCE_Business.