10 simple ways to cut your electricity costs

Across Australia, no one has escaped the pain of rising electricity costs. Soaring energy prices have led to a record number of Australian businesses seeking relief in order to take back control of their power bill. Here are 10 simple ways your business can cut energy costs in 2018.

1. Switch off equipment when not in use

Make sure that you switch off all printers, equipment, computers lights, air conditioners, coffee vending machines overnight and on weekends. Some appliances continue to draw power even when switched off, so (if possible) unplug equipment and devices from the wall when they’re not being used.

2. Heating and cooling

Set your thermostat at 20 degrees. In winter, every degree above 20 can add as much at 10 per cent to your heating bill. Avoid turning on the air conditioner or heater when the weather is relatively pleasant. If you have windows, leaving them open will let you have some fresh air, and also have a major impact on your power bills.

3. Review your network costs

Most businesses believe that network charges are simply pass-through charges that can’t be changed. However, many businesses are on the wrong network tariff due to their usage patterns reflecting a different demand profile. Getting this wrong is costly as this can be the biggest part of your power bill.

4. Check your power factor

Have you checked your power factor lately? If your power factor is poor you can be overpaying for your kilovolt-ampere (kVA) demand as much as 30 percent.

5. Consider flexible/remote work

Give your employees an option to work from home. With the ‘Internet of Things’, employees can connect to an office network safely and securely from almost anywhere. With fewer employees in the office, less power is used. Allowing employees to work one day a week from home also reduces their commuting cost and time by 20 percent.

6. Turn on your light and equipment at different times

Have you heard of “15 Minute Interval data”? Well, the 15 minutes when you use the most power is typically how your network provider calculates how much to charge you for your demand. If you’re a retail outlet or manufacturing business and you turn your lights or equipment on at the same time, you are probably overpaying for your demand. Try and turn on your lights and equipment in 16 minute intervals. This can save you tens of thousands of dollars. Use timers and energy management software if you want to take the next step.

7. Use an energy broker

Did you know that many brokers won’t charge you a cent to find you a better deal for your electricity? This is because they’re remunerated by the retailer who wins your business. It is common to use a mortgage broker to find the best mortgage, so why not engage an expert to help with your energy?

8. Upgrade all outdated equipment with energy star appliances

If your old heater or air conditioner isn’t efficient, it could draw additional power costing your business money. Look out for energy star ratings.

9. Update your lighting

Replace old incandescent and halogen light globes with energy-efficient globes that save power and last longer. Often with government efficiency schemes LED upgrades can be free, with your business only paying for installation costs.

10. Go solar

Did you know your business may be able to get a solar system without any out-of-pocket expense? If you use the right company, you can often access government grants, coupled with creative cap-ex and non-cap-ex finance options, where your savings on electricity can go towards paying the system off. Solar energy is free, clean and renewable.

Christopher Dean, CEO, Choice Energy

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