Reduce Your Power Bill

A Clean-Cut Way to Reduce Your Power Bill.

Inside Small Business were invited to join the energy gurus at Origin Energy for a chinwag on efficient energy management solutions for small businesses.

We talked renewable energy, from solar power to commercial size batteries, smarter ways to save on power bills – and even cool new electric racing cars, some of which do 0 to 100kms in about three seconds.

My mission though, was to find out all I could about future energy savings for businesses. I wanted to hear what large energy companies, at the forefront of the industry, are planning for the future?  What clean energy and new technologies we will be using? But most of all, I was stealthily, trying to find out how to get that darn power bill down.

A growing trend in Australia has seen small businesses now turning to solar power to mitigate rising electricity costs. Electricity is a significant operating cost for small businesses. And with electricity costs happily defying Newton’s law of gravity, one must seriously contemplate a more cost effective way to do business.

Origin have now made it easier than ever, to make the switch to solar.

Origin has introduced ‘Solar as a Service’. There’s zero cost outlay to purchase the solar system. Zero cost to install it. And zero cost to maintain it. They’ve made it much easier than it used to be to make it happen, that’s for sure. It should be noted, some site based (non-system related costs) may occur but these would be quoted to you at the time of sale if applicable.  As far as the solar system itself goes – you don’t pay a red cent!

With ‘Solar as a Service,’ Origin actually owns the solar system, so you don’t pay for any maintenance of the system. They monitor and maintain the system for the lifetime of the contract. By the way, you can always request to own the solar system – if that’s your cup of tea.

“We essentially help businesses look at their electricity consumption during the day, and see how solar can reduce their operational expenditure,” David Helmy, Product Manager, for Origin Business Solar explained.

Origin have special mapping software that determines how many panels you need and where they should be placed. Their solar experts will find out if any shade might cover your roof, and therefore the panels that could inhibit peak performance – and block those cost saving rays from the sun.

Once you have chosen the contract you’re comfortable with – of which there are 7, 10, or 15 year terms. And you agree on your fixed reduced solar electricity rate. Origin will organise a time of your choosing to install the solar system and it’s all systems a go.

The future of solar power is navigating towards being stored in large capacity batteries. So it may be a good idea to go solar now, so when commercial batteries become more common in the next five years, you’re in pole position. Put simply, the electricity generated from your solar system that doesn’t get used by you in the day, gets stored for use at another time instead being feedback out into the grid. Of course, for solar electricity not used which feeds back into the grid, where permitted. As the generator, you are paid a nominal fee, which can also help lower your bills.

From what I can tell, it’s a great way to save money and go green. And you’ll be set to take advantage of even more savings with battery technology in the future.

Chris Sutherland, Inside Small Business