Tricks for an energy efficient office
Australian small businesses are world-changing in terms of innovation, but there are always further opportunities to improve your company's performance. Under the Green Building Council of Australia's Green Star rating system, over 20 per cent of Australia's CBD office space is already certified green - and this country is always finding new ways and incentives to boost its environmental reputation on the global stage.
No matter the size of your company or the industry you specialise in, you can become a part of this movement by incorporating energy-efficient practices into your day-to-day operations - and you might find that the few changes you make now have a big impact on bills from electricity suppliers. In fact, according to the state government of Victoria, implementing cost-effective energy efficiency improvements can generate around $10,000 a year in savings for an average office space of 2,500 square metres.
Here are some tricks to help you get there.
Making your office more energy efficient doesn't just come down to how you use lights - it also depends heavily on what kind of technology you have in place. According to the New South Wales Office of Environment and Heritage, lighting systems can account for up to 50 per cent of your business's energy use. In fact, installing a more efficient system can reduce your energy usage by over 80 per cent.
Given the rapid rate electricity prices are rising, there are significant savings to be made. You can have your office retrofitted with energy-saving bulbs, which typically demands less money upfront and is relatively easy to undertake. On the other hand, you could consider replacing the existing set up - this can be more effective for older buildings that have outdated lighting, and advancements in technology mean that you can put in a new lighting system for a reasonable price.
For example, you could try LED lights in areas of the office where light is needed for a particular task, such as over desks or in the kitchen, and they can be used to supplement other ambient lights. They are a cost efficient option, don't need as much maintenance as other light forms and can reduce the amount you pay in lighting costs to electricity suppliers.
Keeping your office comfortable
Much like in a home, heating, cooling and ventilating your office uses a large amount of energy. They are also essential for creating a comfortable, workable office environment. By investing in an efficient HVAC system, you can save up to 40 per cent on energy costs according to the state government of Victoria. It's not just about implementing new heating and cooling equipment - they need to be be easily controllable, serviced and maintained. This means doing regular check ups, cleaning condenser coils and replacing filters.
You can also supplement the system by other means. For those scorching Australian summer days, you can reduce the need for air conditioning with shading, insulation and double glazing on windows. Installing reflective film on sun-facing windows can also keep your office cooler.
Get an electricity comparison
Whether your business is moving to a new address or you have reached the end of your current contract, it's worth checking whether your electricity supplier was giving you the best deal for how you use energy. In the daily running of a business, it can be difficult to find the time to examine your bills and usage, which is why a free service like Make It Cheaper can be a true asset.
By providing Make It Cheaper with your bills and a run-down on how your company uses energy, the experts can conduct an electricity comparison and find out whether your current provider is meeting your needs. And don't worry about the process involved in switching suppliers - they can do all the hard work on your behalf, allowing you more time to focus on your business.
Posted by Jeremy Elliott