Improve Energy Efficiency
Where do you begin?
Reducing your usage and through energy efficiency delivers significant savings.
Improving energy efficiency reduces your usage. It will also reduce the cost of energy. That part is a no brainer. Many are not aware that energy efficiency initiatives are cheaper than ever, quick to put in place and may be cashflow positive from day one.
So where to from here? How do you choose the right course of action that delivers an ROI? This of course depends on your business. All are different with different needs. Even an office based business such as ours with leased premises can improve efficiency.
Improving energy efficiency reduces usage, lowers peak demand that you pay for and reduces your environmental impact.
There are a range of options out there. And lots of suppliers to choose from. Here is our advice on what to look for.
How can a business be more efficient?
Reducing consumption can encompass everything from behavioural factors to updating fixtures and equipment. Some are simple and others require a little more effort for the longer run. The benefit is that the effort is often magnitudes more worthwhile rather than tokenistic attempts at reduction.
1. Change to LED Lighting
Lighting makes up about 30% of the energy cost of an office based business. More in industrial settings. About 35% of the lighting in Australia is already LED lights which means that 65% of lighting is less efficient than it should be.
Even in an office – if you can see 50 or more fluorescent tubes, you could achieve an ROI within 18 months by switching your lights to LED. There is likely even more upside if electricity prices continue to rise.
Keep an eye on product quality
Not all products are created equal. There are a lot of cheap imports on the market that do not meet Australian Standards or are less suitable for the heavier use in a business. If comparing quotes, do your homework and make sure that products quoted are up for the job.
2. Use Energy Efficient Heating & Cooling
Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) can be as much as half of the electricity usage for many types of businesses. This of course, is dependent on the type of business, the type of premises, the age of the building and the air conditioning units.
Updating to a modern system can deliver immediate energy savings and reduce costs. You can also look to repair and refresh an existing system which can deliver significant savings. Just the fan to blow air through the building can consume up to 14% of your total electricity so all parts are worth a look.
Excessive energy use by HVAC could be a result of poor building insulation, excess heat being generated by other equipment or even poor air flow.
3. Update Machinery & Appliances
Older machinery or appliances might work fine. They may even still look good. However, there is a big difference between the energy efficiency of older products and newer products. Modern machinery and appliances use up to 70% less power to perform the same task. For energy-intensive items, this may mean an ROI in less than 3 years.
Commercial vs Home Appliances
Not all products will work in a commercial or industrial setting. There are differences between items used in the home and those used frequently throughout a normal day. Differing patterns of behaviour also make a difference on energy usage so be sure to consult with an expert in commercial appliances.
4. Correct your Power Factor and Reduce Demand Charges
Significant savings can be achieved by optimising the power factor of your site. Power factor is applicable in commercial and industrial buildings which rely on reactive power as well as real power usage. This comes from the magnetic fields that are created by motors, induction appliances, transformers and discharge lighting.
The ROI on Power Factor Correction is shorter than ever before
Improving your power factor from 0.68 to 0.98 could reduce demand charges by 20% which translates to an ROI of 12 to 18 months. This assumes that there is no increase in demand charges during that time.
Supply Clusters Offer/s
LED Lighting, Solar Panels & Power Factor Correction
Cherry Energy champion the idea of Energy Freedom to help business reduce energy cost and reliance on the energy grid.
Members receive the following benefits from Cherry Energy:
- Rebates for premium members
- Upgrade to 5 year warranty for supply and re-installation on LED lighting
- FREE 3-year performance guarantee
- Lifetime monitoring through Cherry Command Centre
- Rebates for premium members