Manage your energy use
Reducing energy use is not always an option. However, managing how and when you use energy can go a long way towards helping you negotiate a better energy contract and reducing your bills.
Managing your energy use can also help you to:
- improve your business budgeting and planning by keeping track of your energy use
- reduce the maintenance costs of equipment by using them more efficiently or upgrading to more effective equipment. For example, upgrade to more energy efficient air conditioners in your office to reduce your cooling costs
- improve your business reputation by reducing your impact on the environment
- boost staff morale through improved business culture and opportunities for innovation.
Carefully consider the following options to see what best suits your energy needs:
Shift your energy use to cheaper periods
Reduce your energy use during peak periods by switching off unnecessary equipment, installing automatic timers or using alternative energy. This allows you to spread out your energy use to cheaper periods and may help reduce your network charges. Shifting your energy use also allows you to negotiate a better contract.
Choose energy efficient options
Although switching to energy efficient technology can cost money up front, it can save you in the long run. Some options to consider include:
- purchasing or leasing energy efficient equipment
- regularly maintaining equipment
- switching to gas or electric vehicles
- changing to energy efficient lighting
- managing standby power use
- installing timers, smart meters and displays.
Some states and territories offer rebates and programs for small businesses switching to energy efficient options.
There are a range of industry and government programs that provide support for businesses wanting to understand more about their energy use and implement energy-efficient practices.
Switch to alternative energy
Whether your energy use is large or small, consider other energy options such as:
- switching to a green energy provider
- using alternative fuels
- installing solar systems to generate your own electricity or heat pumps to reduce your electricity consumption.
Before you make the switch, consider all your options to ensure they suit your business needs and explore any potential costs.
There are many electricity options. Businesses who install an alternate electricity system may receive money from retailers for the electricity they send into the network (a feed-in tariff). The feed-in tariff works on the type and amount of electricity you generate.
If you plan to sell electricity generated from your alternative electricity system, make sure you follow the Australian Energy Regulator’s guidelines. In particular, you’ll need to seek a retailer authorisation or a retail exemption if you plan to sell to other sites within your area.
GreenPower is a government scheme that can provides businesses with support and incentives to replace electricity use with certified renewable energy. You can find the business benefits on the GreenPower website.
Having employees on board with energy efficiency targets can not only help you reduce energy use, it can also boost morale. All employees can work to achieve a goal and contribute to innovative solutions. Savings can also help to purchase better equipment and reward employees.
What to do...
- Read our page on tips for saving energy in your business.
- See the Energy Exchange (EEX) website for ways to reduce energy costs in your sector and opportunities for reducing or shifting your energy use.
- Find details on energy rebates and programs available to small business on the Your Energy Savings website. Businesses in the ACT, NSW, SA, VIC and TAS can find out more about using GreenPower.
- Search our grants & assistance tool to find more assistance near you.
- Read these case studies on businesses to find out how they managed their energy use.
- Look at some of the renewable energy projects funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).