8 Easy Ways to Slash the Electricity Bill for Your Business
With the cost of electricity consistently rising business owners are always looking for ways to reduce their electricity bill. The largest driver of inflated energy bills in Western Australia is of course, the air conditioning. We’ll cover numerous tips to address this issue specifically. Follow our innovative yet common sense tips and we’ll make sure you’re operating at maximum cost effectiveness.
1. Cool It Down Naturally
Every business has a warm side, the part of the building that receives the most sun. By rolling down the blinds, employing window films and erecting awnings to create shade you can significantly reduce the thermal energy coming in. This means your poor air conditioner won’t be killing itself all day trying to cool down your business. Take a tip from Mediterranean houses too, paint your building a light colour that will reflect more heat. Between all these tips you should notice a big difference in the impact the sun has on temperatures within your business, which will result in big electricity bill savings.
2. Know What Equipment Is Driving Your Bills Up
Most appliances don’t have a huge electrical cost associated with them, the major drivers of cost are heating and cooling whether this be heating water or cooling air. That said, there are some devices which have the propensity to use quite a lot of electrical energy and you need to monitor the usage of these items within your business. Likely culprits for a creeping electrical bill include:
- Air conditioning
- Electric kettles
- Desktop computers that are always fully switched on.
- Large television or computer screens. Plasma screens are especially thirsty for power.
The only answer to the electrical usage of these items is to change the habits of your employees. Computers should be put to sleep when not being used, air conditioning should be optimised and no unnecessarily huge screens. If the kettle is on all day, think about replacing it with a gas stove as you’d be surprised how expensive the energy for everyone’s five cups of coffee can be over the course of a year.
3. Make Switching Things Off Easy
In a business environment it can be hard to monitor every device separately, especially when there are banks of computers. A simple solution to this issue is to utilise power strips which can turn off multiple machines from one switch. In the case of computers you can also schedule your computers to automatically shut down at a specific time, say 30 minutes after everyone should have left. This way, even if you forget to flick the switch the system will do it automatically.
4. Think About the Flow of Air through Your Business
Poor air flow can result in temperature imbalances that force your system to work inefficiently. You can avoid this with the clever use of fans to direct warm air upwards, if cooling is required. If you wish to conserve heat you can place a ceiling fan on a light setting ensuring it is pushing the escaping warm air down. The general rule of thumb for ceiling fans is that a clockwise spin creates a downward spiral and an anti-clockwise spin an upward draft. Standing fans can move air laterally too which helps maintain an even temperature across the workplace.
5. Choose the Location for Your Air Conditioner Wisely
In order to maximise the circulation of cool air, it’s best to place your air con unit nearer the centre of the room. By placing it on the shady side of your business you’ll also ensure the air circulating has not been heated upon leaving the vent anyway.
6. Upgrade Your Thermostat
You’d be surprised how many offices are running an expensive heat, fan and air conditioning system based around a cheap thermostat that went out of date a long time ago. Investing in an accurate predictive thermostat is probably the most cost effective thing you can do to save money on your electricity bill. A good new thermostat can be purchased for under $30!
7. Keep an Eye Out For Debris and Foliage
Whilst our green friends of the garden can be of great use in keeping the direct sun out, foliage can often obstruct the vents for your air con system. In addition, leaf debris can cause serious stress to your temperature regulation resulting in large spikes in electrical usage. Ensure everything is clear.
8. Regularly Replace Your Air Filters.
As a follow-on from the previous tip you should also be replacing your air filters to ensure healthy functioning for your system. These filters cost literally nothing and replacing them on a monthly basis can ensure your air conditioning system is running a maximal efficiency at all times.