When you’re running a business, one of the best ways to save money is to reduce your expenses. Your energy costs are often a big part of your expenses so if you can cut back on your energy use, you’ll save money.
Have you done an energy audit on your business energy usage and cost?
A simple audit is something you can do for yourself, or for an audit which meets Australian Standards, ask the Safe & Sure team to do for you. Australian Standard (AS/NZS 3598:2014) spell out exactly how the audit should be done and what it must cover.
What is an energy audit?
An energy audit is an analysis of the energy usage and flow within your business. It looks for the areas where you use most of your energy and ways to reduce your consumption and lower your costs.
Why do an energy audit?
An energy audit not only helps you find ways to save energy and money, it looks at how to implement changes which fit your budget and your business operations and goals. The audit investigates how your energy and where is being used within your business. It looks at the tariffs you’re paying to make sure you are getting the best deal possible.
What can you do right now to lower costs?
You don’t have to wait for an energy audit to make small changes which will save you money. Start small:
- Lighting – replace lights with energy efficient globes. Turn them off when you don’t need them.
- Temperature control – a reduction in temperature of 1 degree is not usually noticeable in an office but it saves money in the long term.
- Consider your source of energy and whether it could be replaced or added to with solar or alternative sources.
- Have your refrigeration equipment regularly maintained to reduce leaks of cold air.
- Turn off computers and other equipment when they are not in use, especially at the end of the day.
- Update outdated equipment with new energy efficient models.
Is an energy audit a worthwhile business expense?
While you can save money by making small changes, it’s important to get a clear picture of your overall energy use. The intention of an audit is to save you money and its cost is often less than 1% of your energy costs. But imagine how much you might save.
Here are some facts to help you consider the ROI of an energy audit:
- Your energy costs keep going up but with an audit, you’ll find ways to reduce energy expenses by between 10% and 30%.
- You may find a cheaper energy supplier or a better energy option to save money.
- Your business will find new tools and products which deliver on performance but use less energy.
- Replacing energy-sucking appliances will lower costs
What might an audit cover?
Usually the auditor will do a site inspection and talk to people in the different sections of your business to gain a good understanding of why things are done as they are. The auditor needs to understand the workings of your business and your priorities so the right changes can be recommended – changes which won’t hinder your productivity.
An energy audit will include:
- A site inspection
- An analysis of your current energy usage and costs
- A review of your previous energy usage to identify trends
- Identifying periods of peak usage
- Identifying ways to reduce energy consumption by replacing outdated equipment
- Identifying ways to save on expenses by changing work patterns or bad energy habits.
So, in summary, an audit will:
- Find ways to lower energy usage
- Identify cost savings
- Check your current tariffs to ensure you’re on the best plan
- Compare different technologies to find cost savings
- Design a new energy plan
- Assess the payback period – the amount of time needed to balance the cost of an energy efficiency measure with the savings it makes.
An energy audit is something every responsible business should do on a regular basis. Not only will it benefit the environment, it will save on your costs now and into the future.
What energy saving measures have you taken in your business? We’d love to hear from you. Please share your suggestions in the comments below.