As Australian businesses continue to deal with the challenges presented by COVID-19, reducing operating costs has never been more important. 

One of the most significant ways that a business can reduce costs is by improving energy efficiency. Whether your business is working remotely or operating as usual, there are many things big and small, that you can do to improve energy efficiency, to help you save money now and in the long run. 

Here are some of our top tips for improving your energy efficiencies. 

Switch it off

One of the quickest and easiest ways to lower your energy usage, is to make sure power is switched off when it’s not needed. 

It can be a habit for many people to leave their computers running overnight, or not to bother shutting down printers or turning off lights at the end of the day. This all adds up over time on your electricity bill. 

As a business owner, it pays to encourage your staff to turn off lights, computers, heating and cooling before they leave work.  Also, kitchen appliances, other than the fridge, generally don’t need to be on all day, so encourage staff to turn these off when they’re done with them.  

You should also ensure that you keep your refrigerator kept as full as possible, as that improves the efficiency of the fridge by increasing the thermal mass inside.  If you need to fill a fridge or freezer, plastic bottles filled with water is a great solution.

If your workplace is currently working remotely, it may be worth checking that nothing was left switched on (including your refrigerator) , as you could have accidentally left power running that no one will be using for months. 

Lighting

When it comes to lighting, switching it off at the end of the day is a great way to save energy, but have you thought about not switching it on in the first place? 

Minimise the use of artificial lighting by taking advantage of natural lighting in your working space instead. If your workplace is quite dark, this can be difficult, but if you have enough windows, take advantage of that light for as long as you can. Not only is natural light free, but it can also boost the mood of your staff. 

If you do need to have the lights on, consider changing to LED lights, as these are much more energy efficient than regular bulbs. 

Heating and cooling

It can be tempting to switch the heating or cooling on as soon as you arrive at work in the mornings and not turn it off until you leave at the end of the day. But this can be very costly. 

During the colder months, create an environment where staff feel comfortable to wear warmer clothes, or even supply them with blankets, rather than constantly turning the heating on. During summer, you can mitigate non-stop AC usage through the day by cracking a few windows.

During the COVID pandemic, having fresh air circulating through-out enclosed spaces is even more important than ever.

If you do need to use heating or cooling, try to keep it to a minimum, running it for only a short period of the day, rather than the whole day.

Invest now, to save later

One of the best ways to improve your energy efficiency is to invest in more energy efficient systems and appliances. While you might not want to be spending money on new products right now, it can save you in the long term. 

Have you checked your appliances recently to see that they have a good energy rating? If your appliances are quite old, they might not have the best energy efficiency and it could be time to upgrade them.   

Installing energy management systems that automatically control lighting, so that it switches off when no one is in the room through sensor monitoring, or choosing energy efficient heating, venting and air conditioning systems can provide significant savings. 

Assess your energy plan

If you want to improve the energy efficiency of your business, it’s important to look at your current energy plan and ensure you are getting the best possible deal.. If you’ve been with the same energy provider for a while, chances are you haven’t assessed your plan for a while.

It’s always worth doing some research to see what’s out there and if you do find a great deal for better energy efficiencies, approach your provider and see if they’re willing to match it. If not, it might be time to switch. 

Whether you’re working from home, or still heading into the office every day, now is the time to assess how your business is utilising energy and look for ways you can improve efficiency. 

Many businesses are doing it tough at the moment, so if you want more information on how you can improve energy efficiency contact the team at Next Business Energy.