Energy costs are soaring, and small businesses are particularly vulnerable to the impact this has on their bottom line.
While we haven’t seen the huge price increases some were anticipating in 2018 (yet), around 76 per cent of businesses are still paying too much for energy.
The average business could save $1000 or more simply by switching suppliers — and that’s before taking into account other measures to become greener.
Being proactive and putting a plan in place to cut your company’s energy costs not only helps protect profit, but also means you’re doing your bit for the environment.
Here are five ways to keep energy costs down for your business in 2018.
1. Compare Your Current Supplier
Starting small, this is perhaps the easiest thing you can do that has the biggest impact.
A common myth is that it pays to be a loyal customer, but in fact the opposite is often the case. Many providers reserve the best deals for newcomers, leaving longer-term customers on more expensive plans once contract periods have expired. It’s important to review your energy plan on a regular basis to see if you’d be better off switching providers.
The easiest way to do this is by using a price comparison website like Make It Cheaper. Simply share your energy usage details from a recent bill and they’ll compare the leading retailers to find a competitive deal tailored to your needs. The service is completely free for customers — they receive a commission from energy companies if you do decide to switch.
Of course, as a business owner, constantly looking at energy prices is probably low on your list of priorities. Make It Cheaper solves this by automatically monitoring prices and alerting you to a better deal when your current plan is coming to an end. They can even take care of the switching process to make it hassle-free.
2. Negotiate A Better Deal
If you don’t ask, you don’t get. Before switching to a new energy provider, it pays to check if a comparison service can find a better deal with your current retailer — particularly if you’re happy to stay.
It's likely that services such as Make It Cheaper have already negotiated rates with retailers that are more cost efficient than what you're paying.
3. Switch Up Your Equipment
Older electronics can guzzle huge amounts of energy. Conduct an audit on all your equipment and do the maths on what makes sense to be replaced.
Switching to LED bulbs, for example, can often pay for itself in the long run since lighting forms a big part of average energy costs.
For those larger, expensive items that can’t be immediately swapped for a more energy efficient model, consider using timers or unplugging them when you’re out of the workplace.
If you must keep certain tech operating overnight, make sure it’s on a separate outlet so you can safely keep it running while switching everything else off.
4. Create An Action Plan
Never underestimate the power of a list. Try appointing a green ambassador on your team, who can conduct monthly checks to ensure the office is optimised to reduce consumption and educate other staff on how they can help.
That doesn’t just include the obvious equipment. Are your vents circulating air correctly? Is the thermostat schedule effective? We are used to taking responsibility for these things in our homes, but it’s easy to forget about them in the office.
You can even set achievable goals for lowering energy consumption across the year and check in regularly to see how you’re tracking.
Installing a smart meter will help with tracking — most providers can give a breakdown of consumption via their app or website at no extra cost.
5. Invest In Green
Green technology, such as solar panels, continues to come down in price, meaning it's becoming a more realistic option for business owners looking to cut energy costs.
While still a longer-term solution, becoming less reliant on traditional forms of energy will set you up for the future in addition to lowering bills.
It’s not a simple decision though. There are many things to consider, from the practical — the position of your workplace in relation to the sun — to the economical, including the tariff offered by your energy provider.
If you do decide to go down this route, check if you’re eligible for government incentives like tax breaks and grants that may offset some of the upfront costs. Find out more if green energy is right for you here.
Call 1300 305 131 or click here to find out more about a free energy comparison for your business.