Looking for ways to bring down your energy bills? It might not be as difficult as you think! While choosing solar for businesses helps a great deal, it is also a bunch of little things that culminate in drastic changes.
Let us help you get started. Here are 20 simple ways your business can save on its electricity ex-penses, apart from simply going solar.
1. Total up your energy costs
In order to save on business energy expenses, it is important to accurately identify them first. Find out how much you spend on energy expenses, and how much you can potentially save up on them. For energy costing Solar Secure experts are call away to help.
2. Observe & understand your energy consumption
The next step is to keep a track of your energy consumption by installing energy displays and appli-ance monitors, and meters in your office.
This helps you understand how much energy is being used by each department / appliance, and identify the scope for energy savings.
3. Devise a plan of action
Monitor the electricity usage in your office with the help of installed energy meters and monitors to enable energy planning.
4. Encourage your employees
Energy planning and saving is more than just business. Circulate a memo or saving plan around the office and encourage (and incentivise, if possible) your employees to participate in energy-saving initiatives.
5. Look for better energy plans
Understand the tariff system that your current energy provider has. In case of a non-contractual agreement, contact competing energy retailers to negotiate a better energy plan. Take in consid-eration whether they’re offering complimentary services like expert energy advice and the like.
6. Turn off / unplug to save
Encourage your employees to become more conscious of the energy consumption in the organisa-tion. Roll out a turn off / unplug policy for appliances when not in use. Monitor the overtime ener-gy consumption and take measures to minimise it. Invest in energy-saving plugs.
7. Thermostat settings
Try to maintain the temperature settings of your thermostat within the following range – summers: 24–27 degrees Celsius winter: 18–20 degrees Celsius
Invest in thermostats in compliance with ENERGY STAR® and discourage employees from adjusting the the temperature settings.
Fun fact: The change of a single temperature unit (lower or higher) can impact your bills by nearly 10%?
8. Change your lighting
Have a lighting audit of your office premises done. Try to bring down your light-energy consump-tion by installing motion-sensors or push-button timer lights that minimise accidental overcon-sumption. Swap your halogen downlight for the more efficient LED lights. Switch from T8 fluores-cent tubes to T5 tubes or LED.
Use natural light wherever and as much as possible.
9. Minimise HVAC expenses
Whenever possible, try making the most of natural energy sources for the heating, cooling, and ventilation requirements in the office. Limit heating / cooling only to areas that absolutely require it.
Ensure regular check-up / maintenance of your HVAC system to maximise its efficiency.
Make more use of fans where possible, considering they run at 2 cents per hour.
10. Insulation. Insulation. Insulation.
Insulation helps you optimise your heating and cooling systems. This can be optimised by smartly planning the external layout of your premises. For instance, plant more trees to ensure proper shade.
Invest in energy-efficient R-rated insulation.
Switch to windows with the lowest ‘U’ ratings.
11. Cut back on IT expenses
Turn off the main power switch at the end of every day. Enable energy-saving mode across appli-ances, wherever applicable. When inactive / idle, put appliances on standby mode to minimise en-ergy consumption. Invest in LED screens with good energy rating. Consider replacing desktops with laptops.
12. Equipment audit & efficiency
Conduct regular equipment audit to find out if your systems are running efficiently.
Switch on the energy-saving mode wherever applicable.
Consolidate equipment if possible, like printers.
Turn off / unplug all equipments by the end of every day.
Calculate the running costs of each equipment you buy.
Invest in equipment with high energy rating.
Buy equipment with ENERGY STAR® label.
13. Reduce transportation costs
Conduct an eco-friendly driving seminar / course for employees.
Ensure regular maintenance of vehicles and proper inflation of tyres.
Minimise wind resistance.
Plan delivery routes strategically to minimise fuel consumption.
Visit Greenvehicleguide.gov.au before buying or leasing a new vehicle.
Check the litres/100km when purchasing a commercial vehicle.
Pay close attention to your driving speed.
Fun fact: Driving at 110km/hr can add up to 25% more to your fuel expenses than driving at a com-fortable 90km/hr.
14. Minimise refrigerator costs
Set the temperature of the refrigerators and freezers at no lower than 4 degrees Celsius and -15/-18 degrees Celsius respectively.
Install refrigerators away from heat sources, and ensure regular maintenance.
Keep the refrigerators no closer than 50–80mm to the wall.
Avoid delays in repairs / maintenance.
15. Hot water expenses
Avoid using water-heating during peak periods to reduce hot water costs.
Make sure your hot water storage is set at 60 degrees Celsius, and instant hot water storage at 50 degrees Celsius.
Invest in water appliances with the WELS label and high energy rating.
16. Go solar to save big
Businesses going solar will see a significant and immediate change in their energy bills.
A long-term investment that can go a long way. This can lower your energy bills considerably. All you need is a north-facing roof, ideal accommodate solar panels.
Consider Tier 1 or Tier 2 solar photovoltaic panels.
Consult a reliable solar distributer who can simplify the process for you.
Apply for Small-scale Technology Certificates for tax-savings.
Check with your local grid if you are eligible for feed-in tariffs.
Ensure your solar installers are CEC-accredited.
Bonus: Solar for business is a wise initiative, not only for energy-saving purposes, but also to establish a reputation amongst clients.
17. Building lease
Leasing premises? Coordinate with the owner to optimise the efficiency of the building.
Refer to the government’s ‘Tenant’s Guide to Green Leases’ and ‘Green Lease Handbook’ and acquaint yourself with the relevant laws.
If your office is part of a shopping centre or corporate block, ensure that said building / block is NABERS-rated.
18. Rebates and upgrades
Check for energy-related government grants and rebates available in your state and apply for those relevant to you.
Upgrading equipment to more energy-efficient options have great ROI.
19. Keep a track of latest innovations
The mounting energy expenses have already paved way for groundbreaking innovations that can help save energy. Revolutionary products, services, and ideas flood the market every year. Follow these updates and accommodate them wherever possible to minimise energy bills.
20. Stay updated
Visit Solar Secure(https://www.solar-secure.com.au/) regularly to check for updates regarding practical ways to increase energy efficiency.
Here we are! 20 ways to bring down your energy consumption and expenses. It’s okay to start slow as long as you start.
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