Here's how your business could save energy and money

14 May 2018

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Bills suck. There is no nicer way to put it. And it’s often the inconspicuous gadgets you use to keep your business running which literally suck energy out of the grid and add dollars to your bill.

Here are some common problem areas for businesses and ways you can save – both energy and money.

Lighting

Did you know that up to half your energy bill could be down to your lighting*?

More energy efficient lighting is a great way to save you money on your electricity bill. And you can do so much more than just replace the light bulbs:

  • Improve the way your employees use lights
  • Think about how you use light in different rooms
  • Look at the equipment that creates and reflects light
  • Automate switches to control when the lights go on and off, and how bright they shine
  • Make light levels for each area appropriate for the task – brighter for more difficult tasks and dimmer for walkways, break rooms and simpler tasks
  • Use room colour or natural light to improve light levels
  • Move workspaces to brighter areas or away from glare
  • Replace your old setup with more energy efficient lights


Refrigeration

Depending on your industry, you could be spending 85% of your energy budget on refrigeration *.

Here are some simple changes you can make that’ll save you money:

  • Try to cool products before refrigerating them
  • Put more insulation on your pipes and keep them away from anything hot
  • Make sure your processing equipment works well and look for any unexpected heat spikes, e.g. from pasteurisers
  • Make sure your products aren’t overheated to begin with
  • Make sure cooling is actually needed, or just raise the temperature of the coolant if possible
  • Try to avoid heat from the sun by keeping your refrigerators well shaded
  • Keep your cooling equipment away from heat sources (such as radiators and air-conditioning equipment)
  • Try to keep your cooled spaces airtight so warm air can’t get in
  • Turn your pumps off when they’re not needed
  • Minimise the time your staff spend in, or passing through, cool areas - improving the layout of your facilities could help too

Data systems

Data centres can use 35 to 50 times more energy than similar sized office spaces *.

Here are some simple, low cost ideas to save up to 20-30% of your data centre energy:

  • Reduce lighting levels and install motion sensors and timers for your lights
  • Try to stop hot and cold air mixing in your server racks by organising your server racks into hot and cold aisles.

Compressed air systems

Compressed air systems use around 10% of the total electricity used in Australian industry *.

Over time this adds up, but you’ll save money if you:

  • Find and fix leaks – leaks can waste up to 50% of your compressed air
  • Minimise pressure drop – your compressed air system should have a pressure drop of less than 10% between the compressor outlet and all points of use
  • Review your air receivers – if your receiver is too small, your compressor might be running longer than it needs to
  • Maintain your separators, filters, dryers and valves – if they’re faulty or clogged, they can waste energy and result in higher maintenance costs.

Pumping Systems

If your business is in the industrial or commercial sector, your pumping systems could use up to 10% of your energy*.

There are some simple ways to reduce this:

  • Replace throttling valves with speed controls
  • Reduce the speed for a fixed load
  • Install a parallel system for highly variable loads
  • Replace the motor and/or pump with a more efficient model.

Steam, hot water and process heating systems

Process-heating systems can make up around 17% of the electricity used by industry.

Your steam generation system could be using up to 34% of your production systems total energy *. With some simple, low cost maintenance and improvements, you should be able to reduce the energy used by your steam, hot water and process-heating systems by up to 10%:

  • Improve the operation and maintenance of boilers
  • Improve your water treatment and boiler water conditioning
  • Preheat combustion air
  • Increase boiler feedwater temperature by 7°C
  • Use economisers.

You’ll find more ideas on how to be energy efficient in the energy efficiency guidelines on Sustainability Victoria’s website.

Need additional help? Small businesses in NSW and SA can freeze their electricity usage and supply charges for up to 2 years with our Rate Freeze Plan. Need more enticing? We’ve also frozen the discount on usage charges. Still thinking about it? Okay. No exit fees if you find a better deal.**

 

* According to Sustainability Victoria’s energy efficiency guidelines.

**For small business customers only. Not available for all areas or for new property connections. Origin also offers a Standing Offer which is a no lock-in product. RateFreeze rates are different to rates that apply for our other energy plans. For details, energy price fact sheets are available at www.originenergy.com.au/pricing.  

 

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