Every year, the unpredictable hot weather that summer brings catches many businesses by surprise when their post-summer bills arrive. By February, business owners and managers are in recovery from bill shock and kicking themselves that they forgot to plan ahead with energy efficiency measures and investments. If you haven’t developed an energy strategy and are just hoping for a miracle, this article has some quick wins to help!
Our Chief Executive Officer, John Huggart, says, “The best results are through energy management plans that are organised with us in Autumn and Spring when systems are not working at their full capacity. Energy costs can be evened-out through the year.”
If you haven’t planned ahead, you can still reduce some costs by implementing some of our simple energy saving strategies to help you reduce your energy consumption in the meantime. The reason this is important is pretty simple: by using less energy, you pay less.
1. Adjust the on and off time for your air-conditioners
On days where the temperature won’t be heating up early or cools down sooner, adjust the air-conditioner’s start and finish times to suit. Even half an hour a day can make a big difference.
2. Adjust the default temperature of air-conditioners
Temperatures of 21–24 degrees are comfortable. Adjusting the common default temperature to 23 in Summer can achieve a daily energy saving of up to six-seven per cent.
3. Use the air-conditioner’s economy cycle (if ambient condition is favourable)
Set your air-conditioning to economy cycle (fan mode only) if there is an option. Economy cycle uses external air to provide free cooling achieving savings of up to 20 per cent a year.
4. Keep fridge doors closed
Cool rooms are large energy users. Encourage staff to reduce the length of time they keep cool room doors open. Ensure the sealing of the door materials are in good condition and review safety practices so doors can be closed while staff are inside.
5. Replace old and outdated equipment
Upgrading inefficient outdated equipment with energy efficient equipment, like refrigeration compressors and air-conditioners that have variable speed drives allowing equipment to control the speed and work in part load, operating at full capacity only where necessary.
6. Stay in control of your usage
It’s pretty simple really, but if you’re not there – make sure you’re not using any energy. Educate your staff to turn of lights and machinery when not in use. Many businesses waste energy by leaving monitors, laptops, phone chargers, and eftpos terminals on standby mode. Turn it ALL off at the end of the day just like your lights.
7. Be clever with your after-hours signage and utilise timers.
Lightbox signage is great for after-hours exposure – but is anyone really looking at it at 2am? Invest money in timers and daylight controls to ensure your brightness settings aren’t being overly lit under daylight, and auto-adjusts when the exterior lighting begins to dim. Using a timer to turn off the display altogether at a time when optimum traffic has ceased (for example, 9pm) will see a significant reduction in unnecessary spend.
8. Utilise as much daylight as you can to save energy
Fixed lighting schedules can waste vast amounts of energy while there is abundant lighting from nature freely available – especially during daylight savings. Invest a little bit of money to utilize nature’s resources can reduce energy use by up to 20 per cent from office lighting. It can be as simple as installing daylight sensors around the office perimeters to turn off lights if there is sufficient daylight in the office areas.
Energy Action achieves optimum energy efficient results for their clients through a number of tailored strategies. A large plastics recycling plant saved almost $60,000 per annum with Power Factor Correction while a NSW based sporting club saved $97,000 off their energy bill using Energy Action’s unique reverse auction platform. From cost-cutting procurement to energy usage insights (including our Energy Action Price Index) and world-class energy efficiency best practices, call 1300 553 551 or visit www.energyaction.com.au.