As Australia moves further into autumn and experiences colder days, it’s time for you to think about changes you should make to save on business energy during this time.
Many businesses see an increase in their energy bills during winter, so while we’re not quite at the coldest time of the year yet, there are some things you can start doing now and thinking about to ensure you can properly manage your energy usage during the colder weather.
Set the thermostat
A change in temperature can often result in people adapting how they use energy, and for business this can mean a rise in consumption.
Try to put off turning on your heating for as long as possible, as you don’t want to be blasting it for days on end if you don’t need to.
To avoid overdoing it with the heating, set it as low as is comfortable. Reducing the heat by a few degrees can result in savings on your energy bills.
Make the most of the lingering sunshine to help keep your building warm and encourage employees to don additional layers if possible so you can keep the temperature at a reasonable level. A programmable thermostat can help ensure the temperature in the office stays the same.
Turn the heating off at the end of the day. If you don’t want to worry about manually turning the heat on and off, you could set an automatic timer, so that it only comes on during certain times and does not accidentally get left on overnight.
You also don’t want to waste energy and money heating rooms that are not regularly used, such as meeting rooms. Keep doors closed where possible, so heat does not escape, and just heat the main areas.
Assess your heating system
Make sure your heating system is in top working order and is not wasting energy by organising regular cleaning and maintenance.
If you have an air-forced system, replace the air filters regularly. Dirty or clogged air filters will reduce the efficiency of your heating, disrupting the airflow and using extra energy.
If your current heating system is quite old, or not energy efficient, it may be time to upgrade to a more energy efficient system. In the long-term it may save you money to invest in a better heating system now, that will run more efficiently.
You may also want to get a professional to do an assessment of your building and identify any leaks that may be the cause of energy wastage. Areas of air leaks cause heat loss, no matter the efficiency level of your heating system. Filling any gaps and seal leaks found in cracks, windows and doorways is a cost effective way to reduce energy usage.
As the days get shorter and there is less natural sunlight during the day, you will likely be using lighting for longer periods of the day.
If there is enough natural sunlight, don’t automatically turn on the lights. Try to avoid having lighting on all day if possible and only put them on when necessary, though this can be more challenging during the winter season.
Cut down on your energy usage by changing to more energy efficient lighting such as LED light bulbs. These use a lot less energy and last longer than regular bulbs.
Investing in sensor lighting is a good way to avoid lights being left on in rooms that are not being used. This can help reduce your energy usage and save money on your bills.
For more tips on ways to save energy, read our blog on how lighting impacts commercial energy consumption.