Tips for saving energy in your business

Whenever you save energy within your business you are also saving money. Electricity costs contribute to your business's financial bottom line so the more energy you save in your business the more profitable you can be.

Some energy saving actions, such as using more energy-efficient appliances, may involve an initial investment. However, this investment can often result in significant energy savings that will reduce your energy costs. Energy rating labels can help you to choose energy-efficient appliances, which can also save you money.

It is important that you take a close look at your energy costs and start to discover what areas of your business are using the most energy. Typically, equipment that involves heating and cooling will use the most energy.

Your business may benefit from an energy efficiency assessment. An assessment measures your current energy use and greenhouse gas emissions to provide priority recommendations for energy efficiency action.

Here are some energy saving tips and suggestions to help your business to reduce energy use and save on power bills. Read through this checklist and click 'Yes' or 'No' to create a list of actions to complete for your business.

Office equipment

Small changes

Can you:

Turn off computers, monitors, printers, copiers and lights at the end of each working day? (If you can't turn off the whole computer, turn off the monitor and the printer.)
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Reduce paper use by printing double-sided or re-using paper?
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Use email instead of sending memos and faxing documents?
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Good investments

Can you:

Buy ENERGY STAR MODEL computers, monitors, printers, fax machines and copiers that power down after a user-specified period of inactivity?
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If appropriate, use laptop computers? (They consume 90% less energy than standard desktop computers.)
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If appropriate, use inkjet printers? (They consume 90% less energy than laser printers.)
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Buy the right sized copier for your business? (Don't buy one that's bigger than you need.)
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Lighting

Small changes

Can you:

Clean dusty diffusers and lamps every 6-12 months?
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Turn off lights when not needed?
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Turn off signs and other lights not needed for security and safety?
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Low-cost improvements

Can you:

Substitute incandescent lamps with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs)? (They use less electricity for the same lighting output.)
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Remove excess fluorescent lights and install reflectors?
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Substitute incandescent or fluorescent exit signs with long-lasting, low-energy LED exit signs?
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Buy lighting fixtures that have a dimmer that allows you to manually adjust the intensity of the light in a room?
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Good investments

Can you:

Install motion detectors to control lighting in frequently unoccupied areas such as restrooms and copy rooms?
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Rewire restroom fans to operate with the lights?
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Install energy management system (EMS) technology to control lighting systems automatically?
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Heating, ventilation and air conditioning

Small changes

Can you:

Close shades during early morning and late evening to reduce heat gain from the sun?
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Close doors to the outside to contain air conditioning?
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When possible, turn the air conditioning off for the last hour of each work day?
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Keep room area temperatures at 18°C during winter and 25°C during summer?
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Low cost improvements

Can you:

Install timers or programmable thermostats to maximise efficiency of your air conditioning?
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Install locking covers on your thermostats to prevent people from tampering with the temperature settings?
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Perform regular maintenance on units including checking ducts and pipe insulation for damage?
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Clean condenser coils and replace filters regularly?
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Good investments

Can you:

Replace old heating, ventilation or air conditioning systems with new, energy-efficient systems?
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Install blinds or solar screen shades to cool your workplace?
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Install reflective window film or awnings on all south-west facing windows?
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Install ceiling and wall insulation?
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Insulate water heaters and supply pipes?
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Pressurise and test all ducts for leakage?
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Consider installing adjustable speed drives? (Your air conditioning system has fans that move air throughout the building. You can reduce the cost of operating these fans by installing adjustable speed drives that can change the speed of the fan motors to match the amount of air that is needed.)
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Refrigeration

Small changes

Can you:

Keep fridges reasonably full and make sure there's enough room for cold air to circulate?
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Position fridges in a location that is well-ventilated and not exposed to direct sunlight or heat from other equipment?
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Low cost improvements

Can you:

Perform scheduled maintenance on fridges?
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Keep evaporator coils clean and free of ice build-up?
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Adjust door latches and replace worn door seals?
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Observe any unusual noises your fridge makes, as they could indicate a problem that will need to be fixed?
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Good investments

Can you:

Install automatic door-closers and strip curtains on walk-in freezers or coolers?
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Compressed air

Small changes

Can you:

Make sure your compressed air system runs only when the plant is in use? (Use smaller air compressors dedicated to serve minimal after-hours needs.)
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Reduce the discharge pressure to the minimum required by the system?
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Use blowers or hand sweeping for cleaning purposes?
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Good investments

Can you:

Install air storage strategically to minimise system horsepower requirements and improve air delivery?
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Install variable speed drives on compressors?
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Make sure multiple compressors are sequenced using automatic sequencing controls? (Shut-off timers should be used on all air compressors and installing microprocessor controls on compressor systems can yield savings.)
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Process cooling and refrigeration systems

Small changes

Can you:

Eliminate heat losses from leaks and improper defrosting?
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Freeze products in batches rather than continuously?
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Good investments

Can you:

Install high-efficiency evaporator and condenser fan motors?
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Install variable speed drives in place of constant speed drives? (This can reduce cooling system energy use.)
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Install additional condensing capacity to reduce discharge pressure?
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Insulate cooler/freezer area?
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Solar power system

Solar power system

Can you:

Invest in a solar power system at your business to help save on your electricity bills and help the environment? (Find out more about investing in solar power.)
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Note: To print this energy saving tips checklist with your responses included, select File > Print (in the top navigation bar of your browser). If you select Print this page (below), you will print a blank energy saving tips checklist.

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Last reviewed
May 11, 2016