Energy saving tips for your small business

Running a small business can be hard. It can be a tricky act to balance expenditure and costs to grow your company while maintaining its bottom line, so the last thing you'll want to worry about is expansive energy bills. Rising gas and electricity prices can bite you in the back pocket if you aren't aware of your day-to-day usage, which can spell disaster for your finances in the long term. Fortunately, you have greater control over your company's energy spending. 

With a few simple measures, you can reduce your business's energy costs - and even minimise its carbon footprint. 

Cleaner energy bills

According to a report commissioned by Carbon Down, small and medium sized enterprises in Victoria accounted for 30 per cent of the state's total carbon emissions back in 2009. While small businesses emitted far less than their larger counterparts, every small step towards reducing your business's carbon footprint is a positive one. It also has the potential to save your company hundreds a year in energy bills. 

Making the move from gas suppliers to electricity can help towards this goal. The Alternative Technology Association (ATA) found households that made the move from gas to electricity recorded improved carbon emissions - and this can also be reflected in your business. Switching to electrical appliances over gas-powered could also shave a few valuable dollars from your expenditure. For example, trade in gas space heaters for electric alternatives.

You can also save on hot water costs with sustainable technology. Electric hot water systems can reduce your bill, but why not go one step further and install solar panels to heat your business's water? The Australian government even offers a selection of incentives and rebates to encourage businesses to take up solar power. 

Energy saving equipment

Investing in energy efficient equipment in your office can make a big difference to you usage. Small businesses often have the advantage of mobility, which makes laptop computers a more cost-effective option. According to the Queensland government, portable laptops can use up to 90 per cent less electricity than desktop computers. Similarly, invest in inkjet printers over laser - they also use 90 per cent less energy.

To save on overall costs, you also need to consider how you and your staff use office appliances. Turn off equipment at the end of each working day. This includes all lights, computers, printers and fax machines. If ever you forget to switch these appliances off, purchasing technology with high energy ratings can be another excellent investment. You can specify when they power down after a period of inactivity.

Sometimes the solution can be as easy as changing electricity suppliers. Have a specialist switching service like Make It Cheaper look over your business's energy expenditure. They can then compare your current bills against deals offered by a wide range of suppliers to find the best fit for your company. 

Posted by Nikki Wilson-Everett