When running a small business, there are so many things you’re already juggling. Between making customers and staff happy, maintaining stock levels and keeping up with paperwork, industry trends or challenges, you will certainly be kept on your toes.
But what if there was one small step you can take to help you become more efficient with your energy usage and improve your cash flow? That’s exactly what Sarah Button achieved. Let’s explore how a simple phone conversation made this possible.
Saving energy – Sarah’s story
Sarah Button and Partners has joined thousands of other Australian businesses who have taken advantage of the Australian government’s free consultation initiative – the Business Energy Advice Program (BEAP). The service simply involves having a phone conversation with a business specialist who then provides a detailed report with recommendations to help you save – potentially big dollars, on your energy usage and efficiency.
For Sarah, running multiple family businesses side-by-side requires a great deal of adaptability. Located in Tamworth NSW, she runs a cattle and horse farm while providing cabin accommodation to tourists. Over the years, she’s fine-tuned the businesses and runs a stable and efficient operation. However, understanding energy costs and keeping on top of them is always a challenge.
Sarah had already applied a few minor lighting improvements to the accommodation arm. She regularly seeks professional help to maintain a pump which services her property. A few years ago Sarah had also signed up to a discount agreement on her energy, but after a while noticed prices had jumped up.
“I had a sense that the energy bills were out of control but I didn’t know where to go”, said Sarah.
Sarah discovered BEAP, a program funded by the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources. What followed was a scheduled phone consultation with a business expert who reviewed her energy bills and gained an understanding of her business operations. Sarah’s goal was to get on top of her multiple energy bills and become more energy efficient to make real savings.
“I was surprised by how simple and easy it was to speak with someone who wasn’t trying to sell me something. It was a relief to have someone who could help structure the thinking for me and provide clear recommendations on what to do next”, said Sarah adding “it was boom, boom, boom!”
BEAP’s energy efficiency consultant assessed her energy consumption and provided a report with tailored and easy to action recommendations. Sarah felt listened to and understood and has already applied some changes. “What excites me is that I’ve had help and am connected to additional services which can help me do the legwork,” Sarah noted.
Adding up the savings
One of the recommendations from the BEAP consultation was to look at energy provider options and negotiate a better deal. She was connected with the not-for-profit energy broker Business Australia Energy to compare her energy bills with others deals available to businesses. The savings have been remarkable, Sarah stated “not only have I been able to make managing the energy bill for my business easier, I’ve already identified annual savings of more than $2,300 on my current contract. That’s real money that we can put to good use in the business.”
The horse-riding service operates into the evening but the running costs are significantly high given sufficient lighting is required for guests to be able to ride at night, and to light up the stables and sheds. With traditional flood lights consuming exorbitant amounts of energy, Sarah is looking to replace them with energy-efficient LED lights.
The BEAP consultant has also provided Sarah with smart tips including how she may be able to reduce the cost of her improvements via NSW Lighting for Small Business.
For Sarah, the BEAP experience “was quick and easy” and her advice to other businesses is they “need to do the same.”
Business Energy Advice Program (BEAP)
To discover ways to save on energy costs, Business Energy Advice Program (BEAP) delivered by Business Australia can help.
There are many benefits of the program: understand your energy bills, learn tips to change old habits and there’s a wide range of resources to tap into. And by applying sustainable practices, it will spark savings and reduce your carbon footprint.
To find out if your business qualifies for BEAP, call 1300 415 224 or fill in the online form.