9 energy-saving tips for your small business
What do organic wholefoods cafes and tattoo parlours have in common? More than just their customer base, they’re both small businesses racking up sizeable energy bills!
If you own a small business, you’ve likely noticed that you’re paying a lot more to keep the lights on there than you do at home. Extended hours, electricity-draining appliances and more people coming in and out all contribute to how much you pay, so we’ve jotted down some ideas to help you cut costs on energy at your small business:
1. Ditch desktops for laptops. Because laptops store energy in a battery, they don’t have to stay plugged in like desktops do, and whilst not an option for everyone, making the switch can save you big bucks on your energy bill (especially if there are a lot of them!) If, however, your small business relies on desktop computers, remind staff to power them off at night and not just to hit sleep. That way you’re not paying to power them when they’re not in use.
2. Consider going solar. Solar energy is on the rise, and for good reason. It’s not only beneficial to the environment, but means you’ll need less power from the grid, saving you big bucks on your energy. While upfront costs can be intimidating, a green business loan can help you afford the set up costs, so you can see savings down the track.
3. Unplug appliances at the wall. That’s right! Appliances can use power even when they’re not on or in use. This is called stand-by or 'phantom' power, and can actually contribute more to your energy bill than you think. Make sure you’re unplugging appliances when you’re not using them so you’re not paying more than you have to (we’re looking at you, laundromats!)
4. Insulate walls and ceilings. It’s never too late to insulate, and it’ll cost you less than paying for air conditioning or heating. Install reflective or bulk insulation depending on the weather near your small business to keep staff, clients and customers comfortable without breaking the bank.
5. Switch to energy-efficient lighting. Did you know that lighting accounts for 18-40% of energy usage in most commercial premises? If you thought you were saving by picking out cheap, stock standard light bulbs, think again because they’ll likely need more energy to power. Replace these with LED or CFL lights, which both last longer and use up much less electricity.
6. Turn off lights when you leave the room. It’s a no-brainer and something we’ve been told since we were children: if you’re leaving the room, turn off the lights! In a small business with many storage rooms, meeting spaces and communal areas, it’s easy to lose track of what rooms need lighting, so try installing motion sensor lights in areas you’re not spending most of the day in.
7. Don’t abuse the heating or cooling. When the sun starts to shine and people everywhere start to become self-conscious of sweat patches, it can be tempting to crank up the aircon to near arctic temperatures. But as a rule of thumb, the closer to outside temperature your aircon is, the less it’ll cost you. And don’t forget to switch off the aircon when the work day is done!
8. Check the energy rating of your appliances. Even if you don’t work in a kitchen, choosing the right appliances for your communal area can make a difference in your savings in the long run. It’s simple, the more stars an appliance is given, the more energy efficient it is. So if you’ve got fridges and ovens aplenty, make sure they’re as efficient as possible to cut back your electricity and gas bill.
9. Switch energy providers. Energy is energy, right? Not quite- the provider you’re with can determine how much you pay when your bill comes around. Check out the 2020 Mozo Experts Choice Small Business Energy awards to find an award-winning plan that suits your small business, and then check out these tips to help you make the switch.
Looking for electricity in your area? Find and compare energy plans and providers over at our energy hub, or make use of the handy comparison tool below.