It can be easy being green – 5 tips for a more energy-efficient business
‘Energy efficiency’ has been a popular buzz-phrase for some years now, but it’s still an area in which many small businesses could improve. Aside from the potential environmental impact, inefficient energy usage can create an unnecessary financial drain. The good news – it can be easier than you think to plug the drain without pulling the plug. Here are 5 simple ideas to help your business achieve maximum energy efficiency, without taking up too much of your own energy.
- Measure, Monitor, and Reduce
Making a point of carefully tracking your energy consumption, including your peak, off-peak and total usage, can give you a better understanding of the wheres and whys of your energy bills. Armed with this information, you can explore various ways to reduce your usage. Small modifications (such as installing timers and/or operational controls, adjusting thermostat settings, or just making better use of natural lighting) can result in big savings.
There are currently a number of government schemes encouraging businesses to greenify their premises by offering a rebate for swapping fluorescent and incandescent lighting to more environmentally friendly and energy efficient LED. Visit your State government website to check your eligibility. Changing to LED lighting can greatly reduce your electricity bill, making it an option well worth investigating even if you don’t qualify for a government rebate.
- Maintain and Upgrade Equipment
From air compressors to refrigerators, a regular preventative maintenance schedule is vital for all equipment. Aside from impacting workplace safety, performance and the longevity of your assets, operating well-maintained equipment can also impact your energy bills. When the time comes to upgrade your equipment, remember to consider energy ratings. This will help to reduce future running costs.
Regular servicing of your vehicles will ensure that they are running as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible. Route optimisation, sustainable driving practices and load size/weight should also be taken into consideration when analysing the energy efficiency of your fleet. Electric and hybrid vehicles can have long-term benefits for both the environment and your bottom line, so they are an important option to consider when upgrading or expanding your fleet.
Not all energy providers are created equal. There are a number of comparison websites available, so you don’t have to go it alone when deciding on the best energy provider/s for your needs. As your business grows and changes, so does your energy use, so even if you researched your choice of a provider initially, a periodic review to ensure that they are still the best fit is recommended.
There are some excellent online resources available, full of energy-saving hints, tips, and strategies relating to specific industries. You could also consider employing the services of a reputable energy auditor, who can provide you with a basic, detailed, or sub-system audit, and take the guesswork out of your energy-use questions. In short, it’s never been easier or more important to take a closer look at the energy efficiency of your business, for the good of both your planet and your profits!