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.

How to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient Without Spending Much

How to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient Without Spending Much

Do you wish your energy bills were lower? Utilities have never been more expensive in Australia than they are today. Fortunately, there are a number of low- or no-cost steps you can take to save money and help the planet.

How to Save on Water

In some parts of the country, water is one of the most expensive costs you can have. To save money on your water bills, rinse and wash laundry with cold water, and whenever possible, only run full loads.

Instead of using water to rinse off your plates, use a fork or knife to scrape off food residue. Check your toilets, taps, and water pipes for leaks and fix any that you find.

For a few bucks, you can save on water costs by installing water-saving tap aerators and shower heads. When you are shaving or brushing your teeth, turn the tap off. Hot water is extra expensive because it uses gas for heating and water.

And, the biggest use of hot water is your shower. So, use a timer to track your shower time and reduce it.

Saving on Heating and Cooling Costs

Staying warm in the winter and keeping it cool in the summer can be a real strain on your wallet. There are some basic ways to adapt your home to make it more habitable when weather conditions cause problems.

  • These tips should make it easier to cover your electric and gas utilities:
  • Leave blinds and window shades open during the daytime to use the sun to heat your home in the winter. Keep the heat in by closing your window coverings at night.
  • Keep air flowing freely by keeping objects, such as furniture, from blocking your registers. Also, vacuum your air vents regularly.
  • If there is little floor insulation in your house, you can retain heat and add comfort by using rugs to cover bare floors.
  • Use ceiling fans to keep air circulating in the summer to keep you cool and to push hot air down in the winter.
  • Save energy by installing a smart thermostat that can automatically adjust your home’s temperature.
  • Help your heater and air conditioner work at peak efficiency by regularly replacing or cleaning filters.
  • Reflect heat away from your home by using light-color window coverings. You can also reduce the heat entering your home with low-emission films applied to your windows.

Author: Jackie Edwards

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

5 tips for reducing energy consumption in your kitchen

5 tips for reducing energy consumption in your kitchen

Australia releases more greenhouse gas emissions per capita than any other developed country in the world, according to the Sustainable Australia Report 2013. One way to improve the way we approach sustainability is to monitor how much energy we consume, especially in our homes.

The kitchen, although a space for deliciousness, is one of the key sources of energy usage and thus the costs of cooking eat up a large part of your electricity bill. These five simple steps can help reduce electricity prices and minimise energy wastage. 

1. Install energy-friendly exhaust hoods

Choose an exhaust with a back-shelf hood as they need the least exhaust air. The next best options are the wall-mounted canopy hood and single-island canopy hood. However, to improve the efficiency of any hood, install end panels and add a lip around the leading edge to better inhale the fumes from cooking. 

2. Upgrade any older appliances to newer Energy Star Rating models

This investment will save you much more money in the long run. Choosing energy efficient appliances can be costly, so gradually replace current ones to avoid drastic debts. Start with bigger whiteware as it consumes the most energy. 

3. Ensure seals around appliances are intact

The protective seals on ovens and refrigerators keep them hot or cold, so double check that they are in good shape and working correctly. Debris on the bottom of an oven can stop it sealing properly, so be sure to clean it and all other appliances to optimise their efficiency. 

4. Use the entire oven

You’re better off cooking as much as possible in the oven when it’s on and then freezing the cooked food to heat up later, rather than wasting the heat by only using a small area of the oven tray for your meals. 

5. Help food cook faster

Defrost food in the fridge overnight as this dramatically reduces the cooking time. Similarly, cut food into smaller sizes so it sizzles quicker. 

Food, glorious food 

Have these energy saving tips put you in a green mood? Well, you can extend your sustainable behaviour further by managing all food waste from your kitchen.

According to Food Wise, a whopping 4,000,000 tonnes of food is wasted every year in Australia and the average family throws away $1,036 worth of food annually. Not only is this economically damaging, it’s a poor use of resources such as fruits and vegetables.

Make a meal plan per week and only add ingredients to your grocery list accordingly so you can be sure to consume all that you purchase.

Posted by Nikki Wilson-Everett