As a small business owner, sometimes it can feel like you don’t have much control over your expenses however when it comes to your energy bills, there are many ways you can save.
Why is it important?
Reducing your energy means more money in your pocket – pure and simple. And of course decreasing your energy usage is a great way for your organisation to go green, help the environment and reduce your carbon footprint.
Many of the processes we have listed below are habit forming. Once you start to see positive results, you won’t be able to stop and hopefully these green habits will continue through to your home life, where you can make many similar savings as well.
Environmentally conscious clients and customers will be eager to use businesses that make an effort to cut their energy costs, so once you have these processes set in motion, then take the time to share these efforts with your contacts.
1. Switch off the lights. A simple task but one which is often overlooked – turn off the lights whenever you leave the room.
2. Purchase energy efficient products. Ensure you buy energy efficient appliances and light bulbs wherever possible.
3. Turn it off. At the end of the day, switch off any electrical equipment which is not needed overnight. That goes for both the kitchen and office areas as many appliances are left plugged in 24/7.
4. Print less. Try to eliminating the habit of printing everything that crosses your desk. If you are still sending faxes and memos, switch to emails instead.
5. Shut the door. Keep doors closed wherever possible and minimise drafts to contain heating and cooling.
6. Upgrade your thermostats. Install programmable thermostats to maximise efficiency and maintain your temperatures.
7. Change the mode. Put your computer on hibernation or standby mode so you save money whenever you leave the room or are busy doing other tasks.
8. Spring clean. Regularly check your vents and stripping and clean filters to ensure that energy is not wasted.
9. Switch it up. Use a laptop rather than a desktop computer to reduce the expense whenever you can as they can use up to 90% less electricity.
10. Check your plumbing. Check pipes and taps regularly to monitor for drips and leaks.
11. Unplug from the wall. Don’t charge your appliances unnecessarily, as soon as your mobile phone, battery chargers, etc start to warm up then you know you are fully charged.
12. Half empty is okay. Don’t always feel you have to boil a full kettle, boil only what you need.
13. Watch and learn. Monitor and brainstorm other energy saving plans and educate all people involved.
14. Look out for deals. Shop around for better offers from your state electricity providers.
15. Seek help from Government Schemes. See what tax breaks or incentive schemes are offered from your State Government to help your business out.
In general the Australian Government is very supportive of reducing energy usage and they provide a lot of information on the subject. The NSW Government manages a program called The Energy Efficiency for Small Business Program to help businesses save money by reducing their electricity consumption. The program offers many advantages including a subsidised energy assessment and tailored energy action plan, 50% in rebates if your annual electricity bill is under $2000 or over $500 and coordination assistance to install energy saving improvements.
Victoria also runs an Energy Saver Incentive Scheme which offers discounts and special offers on selected energy saving products and appliances from participating businesses.
Check your state website to see what incentives may be offered in your area.
If you want to show the world how serious you really are then you might want to consider The Energy Management Systems (EnMS) scheme which is based on the ISO 50001 certification standard. The scheme is set up to assist organisations to improve their energy performance, increase energy efficiency and reduce climate change impacts.
Once you have everything in place, be proud of your management system and share the benefits with others. Like attracts like and you may just see your profits soar from organisations who take matters such as energy reduction very seriously.