Businesses worldwide are looking for new ways to be more energy efficient. Not only is this important in terms of our collective carbon footprint, but energy is also expensive. Reducing your business’ energy use will reduce your monthly energy bills, saving you money at the same time as saving the planet. Here are our four top tips for improving your business’ energy efficiency.
Upgrade Your Lights
We’ll start with a simple one. Upgrade your lightbulbs. Just like all other technology, bulbs have developed over the decades and those on offer today are far more energy efficient than those on the market 10 or 20 years ago. You’re not using a mobile phone which is a decade old, so why put up with ancient lightbulbs? The fundamental function of a lightbulb, unlike a mobile phone, hasn’t changed, of course. Bulbs are designed to do one thing: emit light. However, there are five factors to consider when purchasing lightbulbs:
- Initial cost
- Running cost
- Maintenance cost
- Quality of light
We recommend businesses upgrade to LED lightbulbs. It is true that when compared to traditional lightbulbs, LED bulbs are more expensive to purchase in the first place – that’s factor number one on our list. But in the other four factor categories, LED lightbulbs far outperform other market options. They are far cheaper to run, are very low maintenance, can last for up to 100,000 hours and emit a better quality of light. We saved one of our clients $32,874 per year by upgrading their lighting system to LEDs.
Optimise Your Voltage
In compliance with government regulation, power delivered to businesses in Australia is between 216 and 253 volts. However, most businesses receive voltage towards the higher end of this range, as a result of how the electricity grid functions. The majority of equipment in your business will not require a voltage that high. In fact, most equipment can function on 220V output. The use of additional voltage costs your business money and may lead to increased maintenance costs.
Install aBeolec system to regulate your voltage. This system will not only perform voltage regulation based on a fixed nominal output set-point (we usually recommend 220V) but it also independently balances the voltage across all three phases. This ensures no harmonics are introduced into the electrical system and reduces stress on the equipment, further minimising your maintenance costs.
Make Your Own Power
Did you know that Perth gets 3,200 hours of sunshine every year? Sydney gets 2,600, Canberra gets 2,800, Brisbane gets 2,900, and Melbourne gets 2,300 hours. Australia is a sunny country. And this is a natural, free, abundant resource which many businesses are now capitalising on through the use of commercial solar panels.
The installation of commercial solar panels can be a modest or grand energy efficiency scheme, depending on your budget and the energy requirements of your business. Some smaller businesses choose to start with a few panels and use the energy generated to subsidise power delivered from national energy providers. But these systems can also be vast (and are all scale-able, space dependent) and can produce enough energy to make even large businesses self-sufficient.
Minimise your kVAr
Most electrical systems are running inefficiently, unless they are optimised. Quality Energy specialises in Power Factor calculation, a key service designed to boost your energy efficiency by minimising your kVAr, or reactive power, which is the power lost during day to day equipment operations. Large quantities of kVAr is costly for two reasons. Firstly, you are paying for power you are not using. Secondly, many energy providers now charge a penalty fee for businesses with a large kVAr.
A Power Factor Correction Audit and then the implementation of a Power Factor Correction System will not only improve your energy efficiency and lower your monthly bills, it will also ensure you are not paying any unnecessary fees.
Every business is different. Every business sets themselves and their employees different targets for improving their business efficiency. One thing which is key, however, is that the steps you take to improve energy efficiency do not compromise the running and productivity of your business.
Quality Energy are experts in Power Quality and energy efficient solutions for businesses. We’ve worked with companies across the world, tailoring our products and services to suit a range of needs and budgets. If you’re interested in improving the energy efficiency of your business, get in touch with us today and find out more about how our services may be able to help you.