Reduce your costs

Electricity costs contribute to your financial bottom line so the more energy you save in your business the more profitable you can be.

Managing energy usage will save your business money and help you build a competitive edge. Here is some general efficiency advice to get you started:

Lighting

One of the fastest and easiest way to save on your electricity bill is by addressing lighting, which can account for up to 40% of electricity costs.

Replacing high bay or fluorescent lights with LEDs, delamping  (removing or reducing the number of bulbs in areas that are over-lit, under-used or receive enough natural light), and using sensors and timers to light areas only when needed are some of the easiest changes to make.

Where possible, consider improving natural daylight in the building and use lighter colours for walls, ceilings, floors and furniture to reflect light more easily.

Automated controls

Using timers, sensors and operational controls to turn off lights, machinery and equipment when not in use is a simple way to save on your electricity bill.

Air conditioning

Air conditioning, heating and ventilation is energy intensive. Savings can be made by considering design and installation of efficient equipment.

  • Consider the operating times of your HVAC systems. Delay the start times and cycle units on and off for periods of time with just the circulation fans in operation for the best results. Also try to use the building’s thermal mass to maintain similar air temperatures.
  • Install a Building Management System to configure the optimum HVAC cycle for your business
  • Insulate walls and ceilings
  • Use blinds and double glazing to reduce losses through windows
  • Install LED lights to reduce heat generation from lighting

Refrigeration and chilling

Reduce energy consumption by installing or upgrading thermostats and heat exchangers, checking regularly for leaks and conducting regular maintenance.

Insulate pipe work and locate refrigeration heat exchangers away from heat sources, such as radiators and air-conditioning systems.

Hot water

Replace older hot water systems with newer energy efficient models. Be sure to consider a system that matches the volume and temperature of hot water required for your buildings’ needs. Ensure hot water piping is insulated for the best results.

Server rooms

Server rooms can account for up to 40% of energy use in commercial office buildings. If your office or building has a server room, savings can be made by improving airflow to the room, using fresh air for cooling rather than simply relying on air conditiioning, optimizing the storage space and properly decommissioning redundant servers.

Energy rating

Utilise the Energy Rating website when considering purchasing new equipment, appliances and lighting for the office. Information is provided on the energy performance of a range of residential, office and industrial equipment.

Metering and monitoring

Sensors and building management systems are increasingly sophisticated and cost-effective. Improved monitoring, through submeters, means energy wastage can be identified more precisely and addressed. Building management systems can automate shut off times, so equipment is not left running after hours.

Spread electricity consumption over the day

Peak demand charges could increase when all equipment is switched on at once, so look for ways to spread the load through the day. By staging the powering on of major equipment and scheduling non-essential operations during off-peak times, you can lower your capacity charges.

Kitchen equipment

Implement a startup and shut down schedule for kitchen equipment to manage the energy load and reduce your electricity peak demand.

Solar water heating

Consider installing solar water heating systems to efficiently heat water. Check your hot water distribution system regularly, ensuring pipes are insulated to reduce heat loss.

Insulation

Reduce heating and cooling costs by installing insulation. Ceiling insulation is particularly effective at reducing variations between the inside and outside air temperatures.

Power factor correction

As well as the electricity used by your equipment, known as ‘real power’, a site may also draw power which is not directly used, known as ‘reactive power’. The combination of the two is known as ‘apparent power’. The power factor is the ratio between real and apparent power (kVA). A poor power factor, means power is not used efficiently around your plant and you could be paying for energy that cannot be used.

Taking control of Power Factor can lead to reduced kVA demand and therefore reduced electricity costs. Installing power factor correction equipment can be a cost effective measure. The benefits can include:

  • Opportunity to reduce demand charges thus decreasing the cost of electricity bills.
  • Opportunity for expansion: The reduction in current flow from improved power factor can free-up the circuit to carry additional loads.
  • Reduced maintenance costs: Extended equipment life as it is run more efficiently

For more information see the Power factor and Loss Factor fact sheet