How Energy Efficiency is Key to Running a Business.
Value for money is often talked about in business circles. A big part of that for any new enterprise (or old one, for that matter) is making sure not a single Rand is wasted, whether on stationery, staffing costs or energy. While it is not always the biggest expense in a business’s balance sheet, energy costs can make the difference between profit and loss.
Energy efficiency is not difficult to achieve. By taking a few simple steps to cut out waste, your next electricity or gas bill will look more affordable than you think. First, you must identify anything that is being wasted. Examples include:
- Appliances and apparatus such as computers unnecessarily left plugged in
- Lights being left on when no-one is in your business’s premises
- Appliances being used more than they are needed
Investment in renewable energy sources by some of the leading energy providers is growing. Two years ago, widespread investment was announced for projects such as the construction of hydroelectric dams. To further your business’s energy efficiency drive, look at where your electricity comes from. If it’s from dams or wind turbines, it may be cheaper than the norm.
By getting your energy from sources other than coal or nuclear power, your business is likely to benefit from a good public image. Being environmentally friendly will help your business to stand out and appeal to ethically-minded customers.
Asking someone like RSM South Africa to perform a business audit will take into account energy use. If getting your electricity supply from a renewable source – solar, hydroelectric, wind – it will show in your audit. This is especially important if you have your own solar panels, turbine or generator.
To bolster your company’s energy efficiency drive, it is definitely worth looking for appliances that use less electricity than the ones you have. Find out how much energy all of your computers, your server, lighting, heating and air conditioning use. If there are more efficient alternatives, consider switching to them and watch those energy bills shrink before your eyes.
The South African Government’s National Energy Efficiency Programme was created with businesses and households in mind. Part of it involves issuing of Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs). These are given to buildings to show how efficient they really are.
Every commercial building should have an EPC. If it has a good rating, you should be okay to move into the building. If you want to relocate to a new building to become greener, ask the landlord for its EPC.