How to cut your business's energy bills in winter
While households across the country brace for the winter chill, small businesses don't head into hibernation during the cooler months. Maintaining a consistent bottom line throughout the year is incredibly important, but you don't want to undermine this hard work through excessive electricity or gas bills. Cutting back on your usage can help keep hard-earned dollars in your business's coffers, but it can be a tricky feat to achieve when the temperature drops outside.
However, with electricity prices across many states expected to decline in coming months, your small business has an ideal opportunity to trim your bills further. Here are a few tips for cutting back on the sums you pay to electricity and gas suppliers.
Keep the temperature constant
Much like in the home, maintaining the office thermostat at an even temperature throughout the winter months can significantly reduce the amount of energy you use in your office. Work spaces that are too cold or too hot are common - but an uncomfortably cool or warm work environment will not only suck electricity, it can also reduce productivity and lower morale amongst staff as well.
Make sure that the office thermostat is set to the right level for cooler weather. The Queensland Government finds that you can work comfortably in an office when temperatures are between 20-24 degrees Celsius during winter, given that employees are wearing cool weather clothing. It's also important that everyone in the office is aware of how much electricity is used to heat and cool the office - even adjusting the thermostat up by a couple of degrees could cause bills to balloon.
Make use of the sun
Australia is blessed with relatively mild weather, even during winter - and when the sun does decide to shine, you can use this to your advantage. Ensure window blinds are pulled up to capture its warmth and let the light in. It's also worth taking the time to check the building's insulation, too. A poorly insulated office leads to energy wastage, due to the extra capacity needed to keep the room at an even temperature. In the same vein, taking the time to plug gaps around windows and door can reduce HVAC costs, stop draughts and create a more pleasant working environment.
One of the downsides of winter is the shorter daylight hours - not to mention gloomier days - meaning your office will likely be relying more heavily on electric lighting near the end of the day. The change of season is an opportune time to check whether you have the most efficient system in place, whether this means replacing tired bulbs with more energy efficient varieties, or improving your business's practices.
Fortunately, the release of the latest 2015-2016 federal budget could give you a leg up in this regard. It has provided incentives for small businesses to immediately write off assets valued up to $20,000, which could mean more room to make modifications to your office, improve energy efficiency and reduce business expenses. And don't forget to contact the team of experts at Make It Cheaper - an electricity comparison might reveal a better deal for your company!
Posted by Nikki Wilson-Everett