While the ACT has some of the lowest electricity and gas prices in the country, our cool climate means we use a lot of additional energy for winter heating and this can drive up our energy costs. There is a lot you can do to reduce energy consumption in your business without compromising on comfort and convenience whilst helping to improve your bottom line.
Lighting – Simple upgrades and better management can make a large difference to your lighting energy costs. Upgrading to more efficient LED lamps can save you up to 60% of running costs associated with lighting and savings can quickly pay back investment costs as well as enhance the aesthetics of a business.
Refrigeration – This is an essential component of many businesses which contributes greatly to daily energy costs. The most simple measure with minimal cost is a regular inspection of systems to ensure optimal performance. Things to look for include ice build up on evaporators, unusual noises and long cycling compressors, debris on condensers, damaged fans, degrading insulation and worn seals on sliding doors. Make sure staff are aware of daily measures to reduce refrigeration costs including closing blinds and covers at night, keeping systems stocked for greatest efficiency (60% full for refrigerators and 75% for freezers), shutting doors, keeping air grilles clear and defrosting regularly.
Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) – Savings can be made through regular maintenance of systems for the safety and comfort of staff and clients, which will reduce risks associated with system failure and improve efficiency. Ensure when upgrading that energy efficient systems are considered to reduce yearly running costs. Adjusting system temperature settings by one degree lower in winter and one degree higher in summer can save up to 10% of energy costs.
Whether it is simple upgrades or better management of your existing fixtures you can make a large difference to your energy costs. The ACT Government’s Actsmart Business Energy and Water Program provides assistance to reduce energy and water use in small businesses. Participating businesses receive a free energy and water assessment with a no obligation tailored action plan that identifies energy and water saving opportunities. A rebate of up to $5000 can assist businesses to upgrade to more efficient fittings and fixtures. See full terms and conditions on the Actsmart website www.actsmart.act.gov.au.