As energy prices rise across the country, small businesses continue to be shocked by their electricity bills — but it doesn’t have to be this way.

As energy prices rise across the country, small businesses continue to be shocked by their electricity bills — but it doesn’t have to be this way. While prices will continue to climb, what many small businesses don’t know is that it’s relatively easy to see a reduction in their bill simply by reducing consumption.

A small business is typically classified as a business that spends less than $30,000 each year on electricity. Bills are generally received quarterly based on usage readings taken from a meter.

Small businesses are charged based on the amount of electricity (kilowatt hours/ Kwh) they use, so implementing simple strategies to reduce consumption can result in savings of around 10–20 per cent on electricity bills.

If you’re a small business owner looking to save money on your electricity bill, consider the following tips:

  1. Turn computer monitors off every night — monitors use more power than the computer itself. Consider using laptops if you can — they typically use 50–90 per cent less power than a desktop computer.
  2. Get air-conditioning and heating facilities serviced regularly to ensure they are energy efficient.
  3. Keep the air-conditioning set on 18 degrees in winter and 25 degrees in summer and set the controls so staff aren’t able to adjust it.
  4. Install a time clock on air-conditioning and heating so it turns on and off automatically at specified times.
  5. Make sure the staff-room fridge is not over-full. Ensure it’s cleared out at least once a fortnight to leave some room for airflow.
  6. Use available natural light over artificial light where possible — open the blinds and turn on fewer lights, just ensure your office is still operating to standard.
  7. Install motion sensors for lighting in unoccupied areas like the toilets, copy room and storerooms. These rooms tend to be forgotten when turning lights off after closing time.
  8. Check your electricity bill. In some geographic areas, peak, off peak and shoulder rates will be shown here. It’s not always a viable option but you may be able to shift some energy usage from peak times to cheaper off peak times.
  9. Monitor usage patterns — check your meter each morning and evening and note the reading. The difference between morning and evening readings tells the kilowatt hours (Kwh) used during the day. The difference between evening and morning readings will give you an indication of how much electricity is used after closing time. This gives you a baseline to measure your improvements.
  10. If you’re investing in energy efficient products, always buy quality. This can often result in a more expensive initial outlay but will ensure your products last well beyond their payback period.

For more information on ERM Business Energy and its offers for small business, contact 13 23 76.