Looking for a change to your business’s electricity plan? You’re not alone. According to the Australian Energy Market Commission 2017 review, more small business energy customers are dissatisfied with the cost of their electricity plans.
We outline how you can get some relief with a great value business electricity deal, and some other ways you can drive even greater savings throughout the year.
Why switch small business electricity providers?
- Saving on quarterly bills. By shopping around, you could find a business energy plan with lower usage charges, and more.
- Taking advantage of sign up discounts. When you switch to a new provider, they could offer you a substantial pay-on-time discount, credit added to your account or a discount on usage charges.
- Seeking better customer service. Bad customer experience is enough to send any Aussie back to the market to find new deals. According to Roy Morgan, 43.7% of energy customers who were very dissatisfied with their existing electricity provider were likely to switch retailers in the next 12 months.
No matter what motivates your decision to switch, we’re here to help you find a suitable deal for your business.
Can I choose a different electricity provider?
The increasing deregulation of energy markets across Australia means more small businesses can freely choose their electricity provider.
If your business is located in New South Wales, southeast Queensland, coastal South Australia, Victoria or the Australian Capital Territory, you may be able to change retailers or plans freely.
Meanwhile, the government still sets energy rates in Western Australia, Tasmania, regional Queensland and the Northern Territory. There are fewer competitors in these energy markets to choose from, although this may change in the future.
How long does switching to a new electricity plan take?
Finding an electricity deal and signing up may only take a few minutes, and the application can be completed quickly. An electricity changeover can take up to three months, depending on when the meter was last read. You may be able to pay to get the meter read sooner and switch earlier.
Will I lose the power supply at my premises?
Unless you’re moving to a new business premises, you shouldn’t expect a power interruption when switching energy plans. Just let us know your intended move date so we can arrange the changeover to your new electricity distributor at the new premises, and the disconnection from your old premises.
If you want to avoid overpaying on your electricity bill, switching providers could be the best solution for you. Our simple electricity comparison service lets you find a better plan for your business in just a few minutes.
Energy savings tips for your business
Maintaining energy efficiency at your premises can help you save considerable cash over the long term. We’ve put together a list of handy energy savings tips you can use in your business.
Heating, cooling and ventilation
- Consider investing in solar panels. On top of decreasing your energy bills, installing a solar system can be an excellent business investment. Depending on where you live, you can take advantage of the feed-in tariffs – meaning you get paid for the electricity fed back into the grid from your solar system.
- Set up ducted air conditioning. While it can be costly to install, ducted air conditioning systems can be the most energy efficient cooling option.
- Consider getting a heat pump. A heat pump doesn’t require solar panels and can be an excellent way on saving on hot water costs. Plus, heat pumps only use on average one third of an electric water heater.
- Don’t set the thermostat too low. If you have a wall-mounted temperature controller at your premises, try and set it to the highest temperature you can work with or use the thermostat to automate room temperatures.
- Turn off the air conditioner for the last business hour. Unless it’s a scorching hot day outside, powering down the air con before you’re finished for the day is a way of minimising afternoon energy costs.
- Use natural ventilation when you can. Have you thought about using a ceiling/floor fan instead of an air conditioning unit, or even keeping the windows open in good weather? This could make a big difference to your energy bills.
- Consider installing a gas heater for your hot water system. Gas heaters are often more cost and energy efficient than electrical heaters.
- Look into getting a solar hot water system. Aside from being a common renewable energy solution, ‘going solar’ is a trusted way of slashing hot water bills.
- Leave sink taps in the ‘cold’ position after use. This prevents hot water from accumulating and cooling in the pipe.
- Choose the right type of insulation. According to Your Energy Savings, properly installed insulation can save up to 80% of the heating and cooling at your premises. There are two common insulation types: bulk (used in areas that have colder weather) and reflective insulation (typical for warm, sunny areas). Bulk insulation materials include polyester, glass wool and recycled paper, while reflective insulation consists of shiny foil-covered thick paper or plastic sheets.
- Install energy efficient lamps. Using smart lighting could potentially halve the amount of energy your business uses. Often, installing compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) is all it takes. That way, you can save both on your bill and in greenhouse gas emissions.
- Clean the lamps every six months. Dirty light bulbs emit less light while using the same amount of electricity as the clean ones. Dusty light covers, in turn, reflect low amounts of light.
- Use lighting fixtures with a dimmer. There’s no reason for a dimmer to be less efficient in the workplace than in a home setting.
- Switch off at the wall. If you don’t switch appliances off at the wall, you’ll be generating ‘standby power’. This common occurrence is also called ‘phantom load’ or ‘vampire power’, as electronics on standby leech electricity. According to Your Energy Savings, standby power can account for more than 10% of electricity use.
- Invest in a good powerboard. Some newer models can detect when devices are in standby mode and will cut off the electricity supply to those draining power.
- Consider switching from desktop to laptop computers. According to Business Queensland, some laptop models can be 90% more energy efficient than standard desktop computers.
- Downsize your printer and/or Why get a laser printer when an inkjet is 90% more energy efficient? Also, there’s no value in keeping an oversized copier at your premises when you can get a compact, energy smart equivalent.
- Look into higher-rated ‘Energy Star Model’ electronics. Some devices can automatically power down after a period of inactivity.
- Choose the right size. Large, improperly stocked refrigerators waste energy on cooling empty spaces.
- Maintain your refrigerator. Making a habit of cleaning and defrosting your fridge ensures both good hygiene and electricity economy. Ice build-up in a fridge can eventually lead to leakage, while dirt and dust can house bacteria.
If you’re looking to avoid an energy bill shock, it could be time to compare some of Australia’s largest energy providers and see if you can find a plan that best suits your business needs. Start the search today!