Have you noticed that your business energy bills are increasing?
Looking for ways to both cut costs and to increase revenue can improve your bottom line. Energy is a good place to start because bills will continue to rise as wholesalers make massive investments in infrastructure to cope with a few peak load days. According to The National Times, the cost of the national broadband network $36 billion by 2020 is dwarfed by the $45 billion investment being made in energy infrastructure by 2015.
Understanding your specific energy usage is the key. If you are a large power user (spend around $20,000) or employ less than 10 employees the NSW Government may help subsidise the cost of doing an energy assessment and action plan as well as the cost of making improvements.
Your energy company and state and national Government websites all have tips for reducing energy usage.
Air-conditioning, heat pumps and motors can be the largest source of consumption for most businesses. If you can, switch off your air-conditioning and vent your business in the cool of the day. Reducing the heating temperature in your business by one degree this winter can cut your heating bill by up to 8 percent.
Keeping windows and doors closed and using blinds to keep cooling and heating can also bring savings. Many offices can easily reduce lighting without affecting productivity. Remember to turn off lights, as well as equipment such as computers and photocopiers when not in use. Really switch off – having appliances on standby still uses significant power.
Use star ratings when buying new equipment and appliances. Lap top computers use up to 90% less energy than a desk-top computer.
Finally, train your staff on why saving energy is important to the business and their jobs as well as how to save energy. Place switch off notices near key appliances.
Greg Taylor is Chief Financial Officer for the Hunter-based Greater Building Society.
This article appeared in the Newcastle Post, March 21 2012