Energy Efficiency Advice

Energy Efficiency Advice

Energy efficiency advice that you can actually use and implement today.

Programs, information and funding

The Australian Government, as well as state and territory governments, provide access to a range of assistance options to help businesses with their energy efficiency projects.

Before you get started, it is best to speak to one of our advisers around assessing your energy efficiency and what options are available for you.

Programs 

There are a number of government supported programs which are providing free or subsidised services to help businesses with their energy efficiency projects, these include but are not limited to: free energy assessments, equipment removal services and tailored energy advice programs (such as this one).

Information and tools

In addition to this website, there are a number of other government supported websites and tools which you can use to assist you on your energy efficiency journey. 

Click here for a curated list of government resources, case studies, fact sheets and tool kits.

Grants, rebates and subsidies

Did you know you could be entitled to a rebate simply by switching to energy-efficient lighting in your business? Don’t miss out on easy wins when it comes to making your business more sustainable. Click here for a complete list from the Australian Government as well as your state.

Financing 

As with any business investment, it is great to know your options and to have a strong business case supporting your decisions. If you want to investigate finance options to improve your energy efficiency, we encourage you to speak to your accountant, financial provider or your industry association.

How to complete an energy audit

You can take the microscope over your own business and start the initial stages of an energy efficiency audit.

To better understand the potential savings that can be achieved through energy efficiency, undertaking an energy audit may be a worthwhile investment of your time or money. You can undertake your own assessment by following the below steps or you can engage a qualified expert.

  1. Review your bill history

Look at the last 12 or 24 months of energy use to begin to identify energy usage patterns. You may find your costs increase in the summer or maybe there are other spikes that require some investigating. What you want to be able to do is explain any spikes to create a tactic to correct and aim to have a fairly same/same usage year in and out.

  1. Get critical with lighting

Are all those light necessary? Could you incorporate more natural light? Minor changes make big savings over time on your energy bill.

  1. Check over appliances

Is your business proactive in switching off appliances not in use at the wall? Are some appliances now redundant? Is your fridge energy efficient? Treat each appliance as a job interview, they need to work smarter not harder for you.

  1. Block the gaps

Did you know two of the biggest costs to business are keeping the premise hot or cold? With heating and air conditioning being one of your biggest energy drains you don’t want it to go to waste, so make switches to insulate correctly. This could be checking windows and doors for leaks. These are quick fixes that can save you! Don’t be blowing money out the door!

  1. Get staff on board

Bringing your team on the journey to energy efficiency will improve your results. Create a challenge or reward for team members that are active in shutting down their computers, switching off the toaster when they are finished and other energy KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that your business sets.

Energy-efficient equipment for your business

Simple switches in your business can mean instant savings for you, which will be worth their weight in energy efficiency stars!

Once you’ve addressed your habits and processes, the next stage is looking at how you improve the energy efficiency of your equipment. This can involve making small investments such as automation (sensors, timers, IOT control) for your lights, HVAC or other equipment or more significant investments including major upgrades to your equipment. 

 

Here are our top five energy-efficient appliances your business needs.

 

FREEZE THE FRIDGE DRAIN

The work fridge is usually one of the hardest working appliances as it runs 24 hours a day. Rarely updated and doesn’t get much love outside of passive-aggressive food labelling systems. But did you know the trusty fridge could be draining your wallet? Some simple switches include keeping the freezer full but give the fridge some breathing space. A full freezer will keep food frozen if a blackout occurs and keeping the fridge about 70% full allows air to circulate, keeping food fresh and only allowing 30% of the air to leak out when the door opens. Next thing to check is if the seal needs replacing. If you are noticing condensation outside of the fridge, you need to fix the seal. Doors not properly sealing are the most popular energy drain for fridges. 

 

SWITCH TO SMART POWER STRIPS

Switch to smart power strips. “Phantom loads,” or the electricity used by electronics when they are turned off or in standby mode, are a major source of energy waste. In fact, it is estimated that 75% of the energy used to power household electronics is consumed when they are switched off, which can cost you up to $200 per year. How many more devices do you have on standby in your business? Smart power strips, also known as advanced power strips, eliminate the problem of phantom loads by shutting off the power to electronics when they are not in use. Smart power strips can be set to turn off at an assigned time, during a period of inactivity, through remote switches, or based on the status of a “master” device. Are you the last one out every day turning everything off?

 

POWER OUTSIDE OF PEAK DEMAND

Does your business need to run heavy equipment? Do you have operations that could run at any time? Consider changing up work hours for the operation of these machines to make the most of lower rate off-peak hours. Do you know your running costs and how to tell if things are operating at the wrong times? 

 

MOVE FROM DESKTOP TO LAPTOP

Did you know laptops consume up to 90% less energy than desktop computers? Make the switch to this energy-saving technology, while allowing for more freedom on where and when you and your teamwork. If you need a larger screen, connect your laptop to an Energy-Star certified monitor. 

 

UPGRADE YOUR SYSTEMS

Update your heating and cooling systems. If your old air conditioner or heater is not working at maximum efficiency, it could cost you money and use a lot of unnecessary power. By replacing air conditioners and heaters that are more than 10 years old, you can save up to 40% of your annual heating and cooling energy costs.

Changing habits to achieve efficiency

Being energy efficient means using less energy to achieve the same outcomes. Ways you can achieve this include:

  1. Changing your habits
  2. Optimising process
  3. Upgrading to more efficient equipment 

Habits cost nothing but can result in significant savings

We have seen businesses achieve energy savings of up to 15% through behavioural change alone. Start implementing some of these habits today and start saving.

  1. Put your computer in power-saving mode to use 50% less energy
  2. Switch off office equipment when not in use. A single computer and monitor left on 24 hours a day can cost over $200 a year. Switching it off after hours will conserve energy and reduce your energy bill.
  3. Switch to laptops instead of desktop computers and use up to 85 per cent less energy.
  4. Devices that require recharging will continue to draw power after charging. Turn the charger off at the powerpoint and disconnect the appliance as soon as it is fully charged.
  5. When you don’t need your larger monitor work off your laptop. It consumes less than half the energy.

Read our case studies on how businesses similar to yours have changed their habits and achieved energy savings.