How to reduce energy costs and improve efficiency

How to reduce energy costs and improve efficiency

Taking the time to review and reduce your business’s energy consumption – and therefore, how much you pay – is a task that can pay dividends today, and well into the future. 

There are two ways you can help lower your business’s energy bills: shopping around for a more competitive offer, and changing how and when you use energy.

With the following five tips, you can aim to do both and enjoy the best of both worlds:

1. Use energy at the right time.

Peak energy usage times come with a peak energy usage price. The reason for this is because when more people use energy, there’s more pressure on the energy grid, and that surge in demand translates to higher prices. The good news is, energy providers are quite upfront about the fact that they charge more or less for energy consumed at different times. Start by reviewing your business energy bill to see how much energy you consume, then identify energy hot spots throughout your business, so you can start looking to shift the timing of your highest impact energy-users.

2. Adjust your habits. 

A few small tweaks can make a massive difference. Some actions, like encouraging your employees to turn off lights or fans when a room is not in use; replacing appliances when they break with an energy-efficient version; or adopting energy-saving measures to adapt your energy consumption, can make a big difference on your bill. According to the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources (DISER), you could save $172 a year by getting rid of a second refrigerator, or $193 a year by switching appliances like kettles and microwaves off at the wall when not in use. 

3. Focus on lighting.

One of the biggest contributors to a business’s energy bill is lighting. As well as keeping them turned off when rooms are not in use, consider installing energy-efficient LEDs, which use far less energy than halogen bulbs, without compromising on quality. You could also set lighting to a sensor or timer, or install dimmer switches to further reduce energy consumption.

4. Set temperature bandwidths.

Combat the rising costs of power during winter and summer by being mindful about the energy you use, and how you use it. DISER confirms that for each degree heating or cooling is increased, energy use increases 5% to 10%. It’s recommended to set your heating thermostat to 18 to 20°C in winter, and around 25 to 27°C in summer, to avoid churning through too much power.

5. Shop around.

In addition to all of the above, you can make a powerful dent in your business’s energy bill by shopping around for a provider that delivers better value. Compare both electricity and gas retailers, depending on your needs and goals, and review different options such as time-of-use pricing, off-peak usage, or smart meters, to see if they could help you achieve greater energy efficiency throughout your business and save money at the same time. 

Are you paying too much for your energy bills? Let our team of experts review your energy bill to try and find you a plan that suits your needs and saves you money – contact us today.

Port Mac Dairy Saves $9,000 Per Year On Energy Bills

Make it Cheaper Australia successfully saved Ben Walker from Port MacDonnell Dairying in South Australia $9,000 per year on the farm’s energy bills.

“I didn’t even realise that we weren’t getting a power discount for our usage and Make it Cheaper brought that to light and saved us 20% on our power which is marvelous. The team at Make it Cheaper were super easy to deal with, the process was really straight forward and they understood my business. Make it Cheaper helped us save over $9000 worth of electricity per year – that’s over a truckload of hay for us.“

Energy Consumption at Work: Leaving Your Monitors on Costs Money

Energy Consumption at Work: Leaving Your Monitors on Costs Money

There’s no doubt that running a business costs a lot of money. There’s rent, salary, payroll expenses, taxes, utilities, property maintenance, the cost of goods, training, hiring, and more. When money gets tight, many businesses tend to look at the big expenses first as a way to cut costs and tighten the purse strings. However, this can have a  detrimental effect on the business.

Often, the first expense to go is the human capital expense: people lose their jobs. But there are plenty of other ways to cut costs without having to let people go when things slow down or seem to be coming to an end for your company. Here are some energy consumption tips to help you make the most of your hard-earned dollar in your company.

One of the easiest ways to save yourself money is to check to see where money is literally going out the door, outlets, windows, and cracks in the building. Utilities account for a large percentage of operating costs for any business, and if you crack down on some of those costs, you could save significant amounts of money. For example, did you know that it can cost you up to $45 a year to run a single computer system 24 hours a day! So, if you had 100 computers in your office running all day, every day, because you heard from someone somewhere that turning a computer on and off is bad for it, think again. For the record, 100 computers operating 24 hours a day could cost you up to $4,500 a year. The more computers you have, the more it would cost you.

Consider if you turned your computer monitors off at the end of every workday. Let’s say your employees work 8 hours a day. That means that the other 16 hours a day are wasted energy and money. You could slash your energy consumption costs by ⅔ immediately this year if you stop running your computers all day and night. What about those big tech companies that run all day and all night? Surely, they don’t have people stationed at those computers 24 hours a day? They might. But turning the computers off for even one hour during lunch breaks can save your company money on your utility bills.

Even if you are running your computers on battery power, as you might with a laptop, you are still consuming energy to power that battery over and over again. While charging time is significantly less than powering a desktop model of a computer, you could still cut costs by investing in energy-efficient computers, better batteries, and following proper use and charging protocols. For example, many laptop computers say to not charge the battery until it is nearly discharged, but many Officeworks keep their laptops plugged into power sources all day, every day. So, what is the point of having a laptop except for when you are on the road?

Be sure to trade up whenever you can to a new, more efficient model of computer. While it is a bit of an expense initially, the better battery and efficiency can save you money in the long run. And if you have a laptop, use the battery power before you plug it in. Not only will that extend the life of your battery, but it will also ensure that you are not drawing on a power source that is not necessary. Imagine running your computer on a battery and power source – it’s not only redundant, but it’s also expensive.

So whether you have 10 employees or 10,000 employees, ensuring that you equipment is up-to-date, in good working order, and is only on when it needs to be on, is a great way to help you save money over the life of your computer. Don’t be surprised if you get pushback from employees about turning off their computers at the end of the day. If you do get some resistance, ask them if they are willing to pay nearly $50 a year to keep their computers running? They probably won’t go for that. Being lazy is costly to both your business, and the environment.

Author: Switchboard In A Box

To find out how much you could save on your energy bill, please call us on 1300 957 721

Stonecutters Ridge Golf Club Saves $75,000 on Energy Bills

By working with Make it Cheaper Australia, Stonecutters Ridge Golf Club in Colebee, NSW was able to save an incredible $75,000 on their energy bills.

According to Adam Nofal, Operations Manager at Stonecutters Ridge Golf Club, the clubhouse is operational 18 hours per day, and all electric gold carts are charged from their mains power.

“Make it Cheaper identified we were on the wrong metre type, once that was identified we were able to save $24,500 per year, which is around $75,000 over a three year contract. With that money were able to refresh our fleet of motorised carts. I would definitely recommend Make it Cheaper to any other Australian business. The savings we have made are significant”.