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.

The Great Resignation: Fact or Fiction

The Great Resignation: Fact or Fiction

Off the back of rolling lockdowns, many Australians have had time to contemplate exactly what they want from their working lives. As border closures added extra strain, by putting a temporary pause on skilled workers entering the country, talk of a Great Resignation began to dominate headlines.

But what is the driving force behind employees’ apparent discontent – and what are they truly looking for?

There are a number of factors at play, beginning with the pressure the pandemic has put on both businesses and employees over the past two years. Almost everyone was forced into constant problem-solving mode, and often, the solutions required ongoing compromise and flexibility. 

State- and territory-imposed vaccination rules put further pressure on the labour market, with forced business closures and ever-changing WFH rules adding an extra layer of uncertainty. 

It’s perhaps unsurprising then that a recent survey by The Adecco Group, which canvassed almost 15,000 office workers globally (including 1,000 located down under), found that Australians are the most burnt out office employees in the world – ahead of the US and the UK, Italy, China and Canada. 

More than half Australian survey respondents confirmed they’d suffered from burnout in the last 12 months, and around 52% said they’ve taken time off due to mental health concerns. 

Is burnout largely to blame? 

But it’s not just exhaustion that is prompting employees to look afield for opportunities. 

Another study by the Pew Research Center from March 2022 found there were three key reasons why people quit their jobs in 2021:

  • Low pay
  • A lack of advancement opportunities
  • Feeling disrespected at work.

ABS stats from last year confirm that upwards of 600,000 Australians plan to change their jobs by the end of 2022. If you want to avoid your employees being caught up in this exodus trend, one of your key considerations should be genuinely engaging with your team. 

One of the main reasons why Australians resign from a position is a perceived lack of career development or growth opportunities. Business owners or leaders keen to avoid being impacted by the Great Resignation trend should focus on building employee engagement through initiatives like annual remuneration reviews, tailored career development plans, and embracing processes and practices that invite feedback. Loyalty comes with genuine engagement, so encouraging open communication and ensuring your staff feel valued for their contribution is a great way to encourage them to stick around.

Improve your business efficiencies and learn how Make it Cheaper can help your business save time and money. 

Christmas Energy Saving Tips

Christmas Energy Saving Tips

Christmas can be an expensive time of year. From extra fuel consumption when visiting friends and family to buying gifts for loved ones, it can sometimes seem as though it is impossible to make savings or cut backs at this time of year. Fortunately this isn’t the case, and with a few handy tips on reducing your energy consumption you can actually save a few dollars over the festive season.

As an early gift to you, we at Make It Cheaper have put together a short list of some really easy energy saving tips you can put in place over Christmas time to help you reduce your energy consumption and lower those festive bills.

Energy Saving Tip #1 Deck The Halls with LED Lights

Choose LED or solar powered lights when decorating your home this Christmas LED lighting uses less than half the amount of electricity than standard lighting so by making this simple change you can reap the benefits when your energy bill arrives at the end of December. Make sure to buy good quality lights, too, as they can be used for years to come!

Energy Saving Tip #2 Spend Time ‘Unplugged’

Christmas is a time for friends and family, so make sure you take the time to unplug and spend some good quality time together! Whether you choose to head outdoors and enjoy the weather or fancy a night at home there are plenty of things you can do without using energy. Don’t forget to unplug televisions and computers from the wall socket when enjoying your time unplugged, as electrical goods kept on standby still drain electricity.

Energy Saving Tip #3 Fan Vs. Air Conditioner

At this time of year, temperatures can soar and it can be very tempting to keep the air conditioning on all day. However there is no need, give the air conditioner a break for a while and plug in a fan instead. Fans use a lot less electricity than an air conditioning unit so this can really decrease your energy bills.

Energy Saving Tip #4 Choose Energy Efficient Gifts

If you’re buying a loved one an electrical gift this Christmas, don’t leave them with a big bill at the end of each month in 2016! Make sure you check the energy star rating of any electrical goods before you buy them and choose an energy efficient model.

Energy Saving Tip #5 Let Us Treat You to a Cheaper Energy Tariff

For savings on your energy bill all year round, why not give us a call? In less time that it takes to hang up a string of lights you could be on track to save up to $315* on your electricity and gas bills. To find out more about how our free service tailored to you can help you save both time and money when switching energy suppliers why not request a quote?

5 money saving tips for your warehouse

5 money saving tips for your warehouse

Many businesses rely on warehousing for the success of their day-to-day operations. From storage to refrigeration and transport, these spaces are an important link in a company’s supply chain. However, despite their crucial role, storage facilities of all shapes and sizes consume a large amount of energy.

When you take rising electricity prices into account, keeping capital costs for utilities low can be difficult, a factor that can be lethal for the profitability of a small or medium sized enterprise. Implementing the most economical and effective measures to reduce energy is therefore crucial. With that in mind, here are five tips to help you cut down on electricity consumption in your company’s warehouse. 

1. Choose fluorescent

Lighting is a critical element in warehousing – not only does it illuminate the space, but an effective lighting system can make a much safer and more comfortable working environment. However, it can

An effective lighting system can make a much safer and more comfortable working environment

also be one of the most expensive costs involved in operating a warehouse. By adopting more energy efficient bulbs and systems, your business can cut back on energy expenditure and protect its bottom line. 

Installing a fluorescent system can be one of the most effective and affordable ways to reduce your warehouse’s electricity bills, as well as improving the quality of light. According to Exceed Consulting, linear flourescent bulbs can result in energy savings of around 60 to 80 per cent compared to sodium or halide varieties. 

2. Turn off the lights

Often, it’s the way that you use lights that can make the biggest difference to a warehouse’s energy consumption. The easiest way to achieve energy savings is to turn off lights when the facility is not in use. There are a number of options: Lighting controls can let you determine where, when and for how long lights are switched on throughout the facility. This is useful for regularly used sections, like an office or foyer, while areas that are often unoccupied can also benefit from motion detectors.

A combination of the two management system can create a much more energy-efficient space. 

Temperature-controlled air can escape without proper insulation.
Temperature-controlled air can escape without proper insulation.

3. Insulate walls

Maintaining a constant temperature is one of the biggest tasks in some warehouses. Heating and cooling systems keep the temperature consistent for health and safety purposes, and ensure your product is stored in the optimum environment.

However, these efforts can go to waste if the roof or walls aren’t equipped with proper insulation. What’s more, this can cause significant energy loss and high electricity bills.

Improving or retrofitting insulation doesn’t need to be an inconvenience – if you’re doing renovations or making other energy-efficient changes, try killing two birds with one stone.

For instance, loose-fill insulation can be pumped or blown into the wall or ceilings without the need for extensive building work. Reflective foil insulation can be a good option for the roof, according to the South Australian state government, as it deflects radiant heat from the interior during summer. 

Is your lighting up to scratch? Consider fluorescent bulbs.
Is your lighting up to scratch? Consider fluorescent bulbs.

4. Keep the door closed

Carefully temperature controlled air can escape when opening and closing the door, which makes a well-maintained and high-speed mechanism crucial. Make sure that your doors are regularly checked for faults and damage.

It may be that you need to replace them with a more modern version – after all, even the smallest gap provides a space for significant energy wastage.

5. Pick fans

Wide open spaces mean it can be difficult to keep an even temperature. During the cooler months, try fitting smaller heaters in work areas to keep employees comfortable – this can cut down on the costs of warming the whole space.

Ceiling-mounted fans can be useful way to disperse cool or warm air throughout the building, without reducing or increasing the temperature on the thermostat. 

Whatever your specialty, you need to make sure your small business is getting the best deal possible from your electricity supplier. Rather than wonder, get in touch with the electricity comparison experts at Make It Cheaper. Armed with your bills and energy habits, they will find out whether you are getting value from your current provider – or if you need a change. 

Posted by Richard West

Why use an energy bill comparison service?

Why use an energy bill comparison service?

Can you really save hundreds, or even thousands of dollars per year by using a free service?

According to the Australian Energy Regulator (AER), only 25% of Australians are confident the energy market is working in their interests.

In short, Australian SMEs and households find navigating different retailer offers confusing, with low confidence in their ability to choose an appropriate plan that will reduce their bills.

Small to medium business customers who use Make it Cheaper save on average $1,400 per year, while residential customers save about $315 per year depending on the state they live in.

Accurately compare different energy offers

Energy plans come in many flavours, making accurate like-for-like comparisons time consuming and complex.

Very broadly, energy bills have two cost components – a fixed daily supply charge and a charge for your actual electricity or gas usage.

However different plans between retailers can be structured by:

  • Time of day usage (with peak, off-peak and shoulder times differing between retailers)
  • Supply types such as ‘controlled load’ rates for specific appliances
  • Rates for different usage thresholds in a billing period
  • Discounts that can apply to the entire bill, usage component only and be dependant on paying the bill before the due date
  • Sign on incentives and rebates for new customers

Our expertise in energy comparison means that we can factor in these complications to quickly and accurately tell you how much you can save by switching to an alternative offer.

Using an energy comparison service means that you can compare with confidence in a single phone call and the plan you switch to will actually leave you better off.

One-on-one expert help from a real person

While government initiatives such as the Energy Made Easy website, Energy Switch from Service NSW and Victorian Energy Compare have been set up to help customers compare different offers in one centralised place, you won’t be able to talk to anyone to discuss your specific circumstances. These websites simply link to each individual retailer and it will be up to you move your account.

Using an energy comparison service such as Make it Cheaper is a better option if you’d prefer speak with a real person on the phone that will assist you to find a better deal.

Skip the admin

In addition to comparing multiple offers, we’ll also switch your account over to your new retailer and take care of the admin and paperwork. You won’t need to call into your existing or new energy retailer to switch and take advantage of cheaper rates.

Zero cost service for customers

Using Make it Cheaper’s comparison service won’t cost you any money or inflate the rates you pay. Instead, we earn a commission from the retailers on our panel when we refer new customers to them. As a signatory to the Energy Comparator Code of Conduct, we are committed to ensuring our customers are properly informed, treated fairly and will receive a high quality of customer service.