Energy saving tips
Keeping your business electricity bill and your carbon emissions as low as possible can sometimes mean making a variety of changes in a number of areas around your business. We’re here to help power your business forward.
As a starting point, Enova believes education around your usage and how you can impact your business energy efficiency and costs are the first step in improving your bottom line.
From there next steps are all about using less and looking at the best options to be as energy efficient as possible.
We hope the following assists in helping to reduce your business energy bills and the broader environmental impact of energy use.
When you use your energy
Sometimes it’s difficult to know for sure from your bill but here’s a starting point to ask a few questions
• What are your hours of operation?
• Does your business use its energy during office hours, extended trading or even run things like refrigeration 24 hours a day?
• Do you have energy usage that you can choose to use at different times of the day?
Your tariff and meter setup
Understanding your tariff and metering setup is critical to understand the best pricing structure for your business.
Anytime Usage – This tariff runs at the same cost for usage no matter what time of day you’re using your energy.
Time of Use – This tariff runs with different rates depending on the time of day your business is using the energy. As an example, weekends and overnight can be much more affordable than energy use in “peak” times.
This is where the type of business you are, when you use your energy, and the tariff and meter setup you have, all start to come together.
If you need any advice on the above our team is ready to help on 02 5622 1700 for a quick discussion.
Now it’s important to understand some of the things that can affect your usage and energy consumption.
Heating and Cooling
Heating and cooling can be one of the largest considerations for business. Here’s a few ways for you to think about reducing their impact on your bill.
• Temperature is the key for most businesses and can be the hardest one to manage with different people and customer considerations. As a guide in cooler months temperature settings around 20 degrees in winter and 24 degrees in summer are considered optimal. Each one degree difference increases energy usage by around ten per cent (results may vary).
• If you’ve had alterations like walls moved in your business, confirm where your temperature thermostats are located and in the correct place to accurately track and manage heating and cooling temperatures.
• Also consider running your systems at a lower level earlier rather than “blasting” for the short term which can be ineffective and inefficient.
• Consider your space. Are you heating or cooling space that you don’t need or use? Keep in mind closing doors and windows can have a beneficial effect.
• Use ceiling fans instead of air conditioning in summer as they cost about five cents an hour to run. Much less than an air conditioner.
• Are your systems old and inefficient? Although there can be an upfront cost, the longer-term energy savings in replacing these with energy efficient, reverse cycle air conditioning can make significant improvements.
• Depending on your business water heating can be one of the largest components of electricity bills.
• The most obvious solution is to use less water where possible. You can do this by installing water efficient tap heads over old fittings. Leaving taps running unnecessarily can be a subtle but easy way to reduce water heating.
• Check the temperature that the heating system is set. A degree or two hotter than it needs to be and you could be using more energy than you need to.
The next time you have an electrician or plumber visit the site, ask them to verify the temperature on your hot water thermostat down to 60 – 65 degrees*.
• Depending on the premise your business is located and the type of business you operate, consider the benefits of installing a solar hot water system if a larger solar solution isn’t possible.
*Refer to the Australian Standards code AS/NZS 3500.4:2017
Shade and ventilation
• The amount of air conditioners and heating can be strongly influenced by how you shade and ventilate your business.
• Using fans and natural ventilation where possible you can keep inside spaces cooler.
• Likewise by sealing any draughts and putting up curtains to keep cold air out and warm air in during winter can reduce the need for heating in winter.
• Adding window coverings or the appropriate window tinting solutions can decrease the temperature in a room by up to 3 degrees in summer and greatly reduces the demand on air conditioning (results may vary). Installing and closing blinds to keep daytime summer heat out and open in winter can have the same affect.
One of the hidden costs these days in business can be outdated and inefficient lighting which can be quite an impact depending on the type of business you operate. Replacing incandescent and halogen light bulbs with light emitting diodes (LEDs) or compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) can make a positive impact to costs and usage.
By updating to LED lights, it’s been shown that it can save up to 93%* every year on the lighting portion of your energy bill. LED lights are the most energy efficient and longest lasting lights available. There are a number of energy efficiency programs that can subsidise the cost of replacement for your business.
*EcoVantage website https://powertosave.ecovantage.com.au/
How your business space is built and designed can make a good difference.
Internally, the type of flooring you have can do a lot to insulate your space too, keeping the air inside warmer or cooler for longer.
• Make sure everything that can be turned off at the end of the day is turned off. Air conditioning, lighting, computers all make a collective difference.
• Think of where you have your appliances located in your business. Are your refrigeration units located near heat sources such as direct sunlight and ovens, and do they allow air to circulate around the back of the fridge.
• Check, repair and replace faulty seals on fridges and freezers.
• If you do have solar already installed, look to operate and use energy during this time to minimise drawing higher priced energy from the grid.
• Even though there can be up front costs involved, consider upgrading to appliances with a high energy star rating – the more stars the greater the energy efficiency.