1 April 2019
Energy efficiency has become a growing concern for many businesses in Australia.
Australia’s exorbitant energy prices is damaging businesses, significantly reducing profitability, affecting cash flow, restricting capital expenditure, and much more.
Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA)’s national snapshot of nearly 200 small business owners released this January shows 78 percent of businesses have seen their energy costs increase in the past two years.
The survey results show that 85 percent of respondents said they would struggle to deal with any future energy rises. One in eight of them are already unable to pay their energy bills.
While future power prices continue to rise with the growing uncertainty, global energy demand and related carbon emissions both rose again in 2018 despite major growth in renewables, according to new data from the International Energy Agency (IEA).
“Global energy consumption in 2018 increased at nearly twice the average rate of growth since 2010, driven by a robust global economy and higher heating and cooling needs in some parts of the world. Energy efficiency saw lackluster improvement. As a result of higher energy consumption, CO2 emissions rose 1.7% last year and hit a new record,” IEA reports.
With the rising energy costs and spurring emissions, here are five ways to reduce your energy bills and ensure your business growth does not come at the expense of environment.
1. Use energy-efficient appliances
Using more energy-efficient appliances may involve an initial investment. However, this investment can result in massive reductions in overall energy use. Energy rating labels can help choose energy-efficient appliances. Find the most energy-efficient products on the Energy Rating Website.
2. Get an energy efficiency assessment
Find out what areas of your business are using the most energy prior to writing your energy reduction plan and considering finance options. An energy assessment measures your current energy use and greenhouse gas emissions to provide priority recommendations for energy efficiency action.
You can conduct your energy assessment but if you don’t have the skills within the business to run your own assessment, there are external experts or energy services companies who can help you. Learn more about energy assessments here.
3. Upgrade buildings
In the world of retrofits, installing energy efficient heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, double-glazing windows and insulating walls, reducing draughts by sealing odors, windows and installing automatic doors, LED Lighting and building controls can help lower the levels of energy consumption of building systems.
4. Upgrade equipment
Your business can make considerable savings by switching to more energy-efficient vehicles, and/or upgrading old equipment. Upgrading to a more efficient appliance or heat pump can produce a massive reduction in overall energy use when done on a large scale.
5. Get finance for energy-efficiency improvements
There is a range of Australian Government, state, and territory government programs that exist to help businesses access finance for energy efficiency improvement projects. Funding can be used on simple upgrades such as lighting, through to more complex major technology improvements or equipment upgrades.
The government’s 67 million investment in new energy efficiency measures will also help businesses and households reduce energy costs and emissions. The program will provide $50 million in more than 2,500 grants to eligible businesses and community organisations. Eligible small businesses will be able to claim grants of up to $20,000, high-energy using businesses up to $25,000, and community groups up to $12,500.
To learn more about improving energy efficiency, read “John Dee’s Energy Cut - The 20 Step Guide to Cutting Energy Bills in Your Business”.