SMEs account for a considerable amount of energy demand globally. The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that 13 per cent of all energy demand is consumed by SMEs. When SMEs make conscious steps towards energy efficiency they are helping reduce energy consumption across the world.
Here in New Zealand, 93%of all businesses are SMEs, according to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, meaning a hefty amount of energy demand for our country comes directly from SMEs.
Understandably, many SME leaders are focusing on their energy efficiency. When businesses become more conscious of their energy use they not only cut the cost of their monthly energy bills - they can become more profitable and competitive as a result. Who wouldn't want that?
So, what can you do as a New Zealand SME to optimise your energy use? From overhauling your energy systems to switching off your unused devices, there are small and large scale options for every business.
1. Consider going solar
If you have the money to invest in solar panels, it's definitely worth the upfront cash commitment. While these panels are costly, they have major payoff. Solar energy is not just a clean and renewable energy source, it's free too. Modern technology even allows you to save excess energy for later use. When you go solar you can expect some impressive reductions on your monthly expenses.
For SMEs that don't have the cash to buy panels outright, there are leasing options available - meaning a financier owns the equipment and allows you to use it (and reap the energy benefits) for a smaller fee.
2. Switch off those devices
While it may seem silly to even mention it, turning off inactive devices is a major energy saver. Computer Weekly found that in a company with 200 computers, simply shutting off all monitors and devices every night and on the weekends could save a business nearly NZ$21,700 annually. And that's just computers! Be mindful about switching off any devices that don't need to be switched on and watch the savings pile up.
3. Get your employees involved
Your most useful tool in reducing energy use is something you already have: Your team members. When you can get your employees on board for your energy efficient efforts, you can help them change their behaviours. They can start by leading efforts to shut off unused devices and brainstorm new ways to be more energy conscious.
4. Assess your current energy provider
There are some energy companies that work with you, and there are some that don't. One of the most direct ways to cut energy costs and overall usage is to assess your current provider. Here at Contact, we pride ourselves on lifting our SME clients up with a variety of different plans catered to their needs.
From a Business Freedom plan that rewards you for timely payments and doesn't tie you to any set term to a Business Fuel Rewards plan that helps you save money on fuel expenses just for signing up! We want to do our part to help our clients be smarter about their energy use while saving some cash where possible.
For more tips on how to cut costs and become a more eco-friendly business in the process, contact us today. The planet (and your wallet) will thank you!