Becoming more energy efficient can save you money while protecting the environment.

There are a number of opportunities to reduce energy use in your business, including improving your heating and cooling systems, using lights more efficiently and picking the most energy efficient business equipment.

Reducing energy use is not always an option. However, managing how and when you use energy can help protect the environment and reduce your bills.

Follow our steps to use your energy effectively.

1. Compare energy contracts

Energy can account for a large part of a business’s finances. One way to minimise these costs is to review your current energy contract to make sure you are getting the best value. You may be able to save money by negotiating a better deal from your existing company or a new energy company.

Depending on the size and location of your business you can choose from different types of energy contract:

  • Standard retail offers – basic contracts with minimum terms and conditions. These usually suit smaller energy users.
  • Market retail contracts – contracts between you and your energy retailer. These contracts mostly suit businesses with lower energy use.
  • Market contract (negotiated) – large energy users may wish to choose a market contract where you negotiate all of the contract. This is usually based on market prices, so you may be more exposed to price changes. These contracts can save you money if you understand your energy needs and actively manage your usage.

To begin negotiating your contract, you should gather some data about your energy usage. The more an energy provider knows about your current usage, the less likely they are to charge you a premium. Aim to give them at least 12 months of data showing your energy use for each half-hour period. You can get this data from your current energy provider.

Once you have the data, you can begin comparing contracts. Use the 5 step guide for comparing and changing contracts to help you start comparing and negotiating.

2. Use energy efficient equipment

Selecting the right appliances and technology for your business and using them more efficiently will help reduce energy use and improve your bottom line.

Energy ratings

Energy ratings are an important tool for comparing the energy efficiency of appliances. The energy rating label helps you compare products before you buy. Download the free energy rating app to compare running costs of appliances.

If you supply electrical appliances, you must meet manufacturing and labelling laws that show the energy efficiency of your products. Learn more about your obligations for environmental and energy labelling.

Fuel efficiency

Choosing a fuel efficient vehicle or truck can save your business money and reduce greenhouse and air pollution emissions.

Fuel-efficient cars also have a higher threshold for the luxury car tax and some insurers may offer discounts. Consider fuel and maintenance costs when choosing which vehicle is right for your business.

3. Improve building energy efficiency

If you’re building your own premises, it’s better to improve your energy efficiency from the start. The National Construction Code and the Australian Building Codes Board have energy efficiency requirements to help you improve the energy efficiency of your commercial building.

Leasing a green building

If you’re looking to lease a building, you can reduce your energy costs by choosing a building that already has energy saving measures. Look at the energy rating of the building to help you choose. You could also consider a green lease where you and the building owner jointly agree to work towards reducing energy use.

4. Generate your own energy

You may want to consider producing your own energy. Renewable energy is produced using natural resources that are abundant and able to be constantly renewed, including the sun, wind, water and trees. There may even be rebates in your area that can support you to install renewable energy systems.

Understand what renewable options there are and how you can implement them into your business.

5. Get tips for your industry

Energy use varies significantly depending on your industry so it’s important to understand how energy may play a role in your business.

Find sector specific information and guidance on energy efficiency practices, upgrades and innovations for your industry.