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Smarter Staff
Smarter Writer

This article has been written by the Smarter Business™ Staff Writers

Smarter Staff
Smarter Writer

This article has been written by the Smarter Business™ Staff Writers

Have you ever experienced bill shock? Many businesses are concerned about their energy bills, but few ever add up how much they spend each year. When they do, it can come as a nasty surprise. Jon Dee outlines some of the low-cost ways to measure energy use.

Cartoon character surprised by large bill

Measure your usage

Firstly, add up your costs to find out how much you spend each year on energy. Collect your energy bills from the last 12 months and go to the Bills Calculator. Input how much you’ve spent on electricity, gas and fuel and the calculator will display how much money you can save if you reduce your energy bills by 10 per cent, 20 per cent or 30 per cent.

Locate your usage

Once you know your energy expenditure, find out exactly where and how efficiently it’s being used. Locate where you spend the most – it could be your equipment, your heating and cooling or your lighting – then focus on the area where you can save the most.

Monitor your usage

There are low cost, easy-to-use options for monitoring your energy use:

Energy displays and monitors

These devices are cheap to buy and track energy use in ‘real time’ and can be used in rented or owned premises. Your local library may also lend them out.

Tablet and smartphone electricity monitoring apps

Electricity monitoring apps are now available for Android and Apple mobile devices. No matter where you are in the world, these apps show you 24-hours-a-day how much energy is being used by your business. Just check your phone to see how much your energy consumption is costing you. One of the best apps is the Efergy Engage app (it can be downloaded for free (download charges may apply) from the Android and Apple App Stores.

Online energy monitoring

Log on to find out how much energy your company has been using and compare that figure with a previous period. This is free from many energy providers. Check to see how much information they provide (some offer a far better service).

‘Smart’ meters

These meters give businesses real time information about their energy consumption. They have been rolled out in Victoria and represent the future of energy meters.

Sub-meters

If you use a lot of energy, it may pay to sub-meter your premises to give you a better understanding of where energy is being used. Alternatively, if your business uses a lot of power, it may pay to have an energy audit carried out professionally.

Energy usage app

The Efergy Engage app account also allows you to analyse your energy information in more detail. Analyse your electricity usage history and track whether it’s going up or down. You can then budget how much to spend. If your energy retailer charges you more for peak period electricity, the Energy Demand widget can help show you how to reduce costs at these times.

How does the app work?

The Efergy Engage app and online account are free to sign up to. Just order the Efergy Engage hub kit, which sends electricity use information from your meter panel to the app when connected to the internet. Available for $129.95 (excluding delivery) it is a low-cost way to monitor your immediate and ongoing electricity use.

Energy reduction plan

Once you have measured your energy usage and located where it is being used, you can identify ways to reduce it by implementing an energy reduction plan. It’s an easy option for improving the profitability, resilience and value of your business. Download the free Energy Cut book here (download charges may apply). 

What do business owners think about energy efficiency?*

  1. 62 per cent worry about next bill
  2. 80 per cent believe in reducing use
  3. 73 per cent believe efficiency saves them money
  4. 50 per cent review costs regularly
The cost of running a business can be quite high.

Does your business need a health check?

Nominate now

*Source: Research by Colmar Brunton for My AGL IQ February 2013 at: energycut.com.au

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