Maintaining energy efficiency at your premises can help you save considerably over the long term. We’ve put together a list of handy energy saving tips you can use in a business setting.
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. This could enable you to pay off your investment quicker.
- Set up ducted air conditioning. While they can be costly to install, ducted air conditioning systems are the most energy efficient cooling option.
- Consider getting a heat pump. They can produce over three times the amount of renewable energy than the electricity powering up your premises while using one-third the energy of an electric water heater. Additionally, heat pumps can be a great alternative to solar panels.
- 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.
- Turn off the air conditioner for the last business hour. Unless it’s a scorching hot day outside, powering down the aircon before you’re finished for the day is a rational way of minimising afternoon energy costs.
- Use natural ventilation when you can. Have you thought about using a ceiling/floor fan instead of an aircon, or even keeping the windows open in good weather? This could make a 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 lightbulbs 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. Not switching off appliances at the wall helps generate ‘standby power’. This common occurrence is also called ‘phantom load’ or ‘vampire power’, as electronics on standby leech electricity. According to Australian Energy Statistics, the combined annual Aussie standby power bill came up to $860 million in 2016.
- Invest in a good powerboard. Some newer models can detect when your devices are in standby mode, and will cut off the electricity supply to those.
- Consider switching from desktop to laptop computers. According to Gizmodo, some laptop models can be 90% more energy efficient than standard desktop computers.
- Downsize your printer and/or copier. Why get a laser printer when an inkjet is 90% more energy efficient, according to Business Queensland? 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 fridge. Making a habit of cleaning and defrosting your fridge ensures both good hygiene and electricity economy. Ice build-up in the 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. You can start searching for your energy solution here.