Get the best value from your tariff
Demand-side management strategies for your business.
Saving on energy isn’t just about reducing the amount of energy you use altogether. Using power strategically can also lead to savings.
Managing how and when energy is used can go a long way towards negotiating a better energy contract and reducing your power bills. Once you understand your energy plan, you can determine what strategies you can take up to pay less for electricity.
Consider the timing of your activities
If your bill lists off-peak charges, this means you could save by doing some things outside of the peak period. Contact your electricity company to confirm if you pay different prices for using electricity according to the time of day (Time of Use tariff). Once you know when you pay more for electricity, you can decide how to reduce the amount of electricity you use at that time.
Reducing your usage at peak times through strategies such as these can allow you to get the best value out of your retail electricity tariff and stay within the limit of your contract’s usage cap, if you have one.
Spread the activity evenly to avoid raising your demand charges
If your business is on a demand tariff, avoiding large spikes in usage can help reduce the extra demand charges paid by your business.
‘Peak demand’ refers to the point in time when energy usage is at its highest. This is typically the time of day when your business is most active. While it isn’t always possible to alter your core business activity to reduce energy use, you may be able to identify areas where you can make some changes to save you money.
Here are a some strategies to reduce large spikes in your energy use:
- Stagger work hours/start times.
- Operate heavy equipment and factory equipment outside of office hours, during the evening and early morning.
- Switch things on at different times, not all at once. An easy way to achieve this is by adding timers to your equipment, air conditioning, or lighting.
- Choose energy efficient equipment specially designed to reduce spikes in energy use. Some types of equipment cause surges in energy when they are turned on, or during operation. There are more efficient models that keep these surges to a minimum, reducing spikes in energy use that can cause high demand charges.
- Use onsite energy generation systems, such as solar and batteries.
These are just some examples of many strategies that will get the best value for your plan type. If you would like to learn more about these strategies (also called demand-side management strategies), you can visit: Clean Energy Council’s Guide to improving electricity use in your business.
Where to next?
Energy monitoring systems
New software is providing small and medium businesses with new ways to access their energy use data to drive their decision-making.