After surviving two of the most difficult and volatile years in trading history, businesses are now facing a raft of new financial challenges – including a massive increase to energy bills.
Depending on where you live, your next energy bill is likely to be substantially higher. Here, we outline some of the support, incentives and individual actions you can take to minimise the impact on your bottom line.
Federal government support:
You may be eligible for national support and programs, such as CitySwitch: a sustainability program that supports office-based businesses to improve their day-to-day energy and waste efficiency. This program provides members with one-on-one support from an experienced program manager, with a goal of helping you implement initiatives that move your business towards carbon positive.
There are other programs related to driving energy efficiency and research and development grants. Learn more here.
State government support:
In recognition of escalating energy bills, a number of government concessions or rebates are available to help businesses manage. Depending on your state or territory, your business may be eligible for government energy efficiency and sustainability rebates and assistance.
For instance, in NSW you can apply for Lighting for small business. The Energy Savings Scheme helps businesses upgrade to energy-efficient LED lights, with the cost of purchasing and installing the LED bulbs (by a professional electrician) is heavily subsidised.
Meanwhile in Victoria, discounts and special offers are available from accredited providers under the Victorian Energy Upgrade program, which can help you with the cost of purchasing things like energy-efficient lighting; hot water system upgrades; heating, ventilation and air conditioning; and water-saving fixtures and fittings.
Furthermore, if you’re classified as a residential customer (such as aged care facilities), you may be eligible for one-off energy rebates in your state or territory. In Queensland, it’s a “cost of living” rebate worth $175 and it’s automatically applied to your next energy bill. In Victoria, it’s a $250 Power Saving Bonus payment, but you have to apply.
Different programs, grants and incentives are available depending on your location. Review your options here.
Individual business action:
The above support can help put your business in a better position to absorb increases to energy bills. Regulators have approved increases of up to 19%, and while this varies between states and territories, the bottom line is: most businesses can expect their energy bill to rise.
In your business, there are a number of things you can do to reduce energy costs and improve efficiency. This really boils down to being proactive on two fronts: first your energy usage, and secondly, how much you’re paying for energy.
If you are not in the habit of embracing energy efficiency in your business, then now’s the time to start. It can be tricky, depending on your business. If you run a hospitality business, for instance, you need to use energy at specific peak times, and there’s not much you can do about that.
That said, taking action on small but impactful habits can make a big difference. Try things such as:
- Switching lights out to energy-efficient LEDs.
- Turning off lights and temperature control when a room is not in use.
- Turning off the air-con on moderate days when it’s not strictly needed.
- Only running the dishwasher when it’s full.
Then, make sure you’re not paying too much for the energy you do use, by comparing your current energy retailer against the offers in the market. Compare both electricity and gas retailers and review different options such as time-of-use pricing, off-peak usage, or smart meters, to see what options you have to achieve greater energy efficiency throughout your business, and save money at the same time.
At Make It Cheaper, we regularly review the energy market and work with businesses to help them take control of their energy bills and achieve potential savings. Contact us for an obligation-free review today on 1300 957 721.
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