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Save through energy efficiency

Being efficient with your energy resources not only helps improve the bottom line, but aligns your business with environmental goals that can attract eco-conscious customers and investors.

Minimising energy use can save your business money and reduce your environmental footprint. Making changes to how you think about energy usage will set you on the right path, and sometimes it is the simple things that make a longer-term difference. 

Food businesses that are making a difference in the way they manage their energy consumption are well on the way to being eligible for the Best Bites program.

Using less is always the best option, here are some ways to get started: 

Visit the Mornington Peninsula Shire website for simple and effective tips to help your business minimise energy consumption.

Getting high energy using appliances, such as air conditioners and heaters, serviced regularly along with your refrigerators, freezers and mechanical exhaust systems makes good economic sense. 

Defrosting your fridges and freezers every 6 months (and as required) means that you don’t have to pay for energy to keep the built up layers of ice frozen – as well as your foodstuffs – and you can fit more in! 

Refer to energyrating.gov.au for great advice and ideas on saving energy

Switch to LED lights for cheaper electricity and longer lasting globes. You can conduct a globe audit and choose from a range of styles 

There are so many low voltage options around nowadays so changing any existing halogen or fluorescent light globes over to LED is a simple win 

You can choose from a range of light globe styles, and cool or warm tones to suit your business. Payback is typically very quick so you are cost-positive sooner. 

Install sensor lights in less frequented areas of the business eg in outdoor areas, toilets, store rooms and cool rooms

Switching lights and computers off when not in use will save power. Think about turning off display fridge lights outside trading hours.

Some appliances use standby power even when they are not in use. Think about those that don’t need to be on standby such as computers. Switching them off at the wall when they are not in use, including after you’re closed at night or on the weekend, can save energy. 

To reduce the energy needed for heating and cooling, there are a few things you can do easily:

  • Insulation, double glazing and quality blinds can help keep your business cool/warm without turning on the heater or cooler. 
  • Putting on jumpers, providing rugs for customers and using fans instead of air conditioners when appropriate are all options. 
  • Close doors and windows when mechanical heating or cooling is in use.
  • Setting your cooling is set to a minimum of 25 degrees in summer for cost efficiency. 
  • In winter, set heating to a maximum of 20 degrees – even one degree can make a big difference. 

Make sure you include details of water saving procedures in your opening and closing procedures, your staff handbook, staff newsletters, induction or in on-the-job training.

Understand your energy bills to see where and when your business is using energy and view consumption with this handy Sustainability Victoria tool.

Save money and energy by comparing energy providers and switching companies. Get your electricity from a renewable source – there are plenty of solar, wind and hydro power options. Find out how different energy providers compare.

Understand where and when your business is using energy and view consumption here

Purchase energy efficient appliances such as induction cooktops, fridges, dishwashers, washing machines. Look for those that are 6 stars or greater.

When purchasing new equipment like a dishwasher or hot water system, be sure to purchase products with the highest star rating. Spending a little more on an appliance that is more energy or water efficient will save you money in the longer term. 

Get an environmental audit to understand where your business is using the most energy and water what upgrades would be the most beneficial. 

Replace gas appliances with electric to avoid spikes in gas prices and be more sustainable.

Applying for a grant or rebate can help your business make some of those bigger or longer term project investments. Whether you are renting or you own the property, there are many ways to make a difference; put in solar panels, hydronic heating, improve ventilation, purchase energy efficient appliances, or even install electric vehicle charge points. Our grants and resources page can help an help you find grants that are available.

Find out about discounts on energy and water upgrades available through the Victorian Energy Upgrades program for business. Accredited providers must be used to receive these discounts.

Find out about Sustainability Victoria’s business finance for energy upgrades. The program is helping Victorians cut power bills and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by giving information on discounted energy efficient products and services.  A range of energy efficient appliances are available.  

You can discover even more ideas from theEco-Living Display Centreat the Briars, Mount Martha, where you can see retrofitted energy saving ideas in action, plus get tips to help you make it happen in your business. They also run guided tours and hands-on workshops. 

Saving energy starts with behaviour changes:

  • Get together with other like-minded businesses to bulk buy energy or water efficient equipment. 
  • Have conversations with your staff and customers about ways you are reducing your water and energy usage. 
  • Make sure your policies and staff handbooks are backed up with clear signage around the business. 
  • Be proud of what you are doing and include information in your newsletters and social media to customers and staff. 

Quick links

Sometimes knowing where to start can be confusing. To help your business navigate becoming more accessible, and celebrating diversity and inclusion we have pulled together some sustainability case studies about local businesses doing things really well for you to read, check out the latest relating to sustainability news or see what sustainability events are programmed for the near future.

New events are being released all the time, so subscribe to the newsletter to ensure you find out what is coming up.

Content reviewed and updated: May 2024

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