4 benefits of an energy efficiency assessment for your business

Posted in:

Is your business exploring all available opportunities for success? Monitoring and re-evaluating your energy efficiency practices can uncover new possibilities for not only cost savings and lowered overheads, but also for things like driving employee productivity and enhancing your business’s green credentials. With this in mind, we outline what energy efficiency assessments involve and how they can support your business goals.

What is an energy efficiency assessment?

An energy efficiency assessment is designed to review your business’s energy usage and provide strategies to improve efficiency. It could end up saving your business money, boosting productivity in your workplace, and offering you opportunities for innovation. While you can conduct your own assessment, you could alternatively have an expert with the relevant skills carry one out on your behalf.

What does it involve?

An energy efficiency assessment could involve checking past energy billing data – say for the past 12 months – and checking the data for higher-energy-use processes. It might include using metres to record energy usage around your business at different periods of the day, week, month, or season. A comprehensive assessment could delve into metrics like energy use versus production output, and it could cover benchmarking performance to check how processes or business units are performing. Once you put strategies into place, your expert can continue tracking your progress and record improvements.

Australian Standards

Note that if you have a formal assessment done by an accredited assessor, ideally they should complete assessments to the applicable Australian Standards, such as AS/NZS 3598.1:2014 Energy Audits — Commercial Buildings. Additionally, energy audits to Australian Standards fall into one of three categories: basic energy audits, detailed energy audits, and precision subsystem audits. The first two types could be suitable for small to large businesses, while the third type of audit is for larger businesses with specialist equipment or major production facilities. For an accredited energy assessor, start by doing a search on the Energy Efficiency Council’s website. So, how can an energy efficiency assessment help your business to succeed?

1. Reduce electricity costs

Reducing your electricity costs and, in turn, your business overheads is the most obvious justification for an energy efficiency assessment. By cutting expenses, you could improve margins and profitability. Your energy efficiency assessment can reveal how your business is currently consuming energy. It achieves this by breaking down consumption to individual pieces of equipment, as well as exploring workplace design and employee behaviour.

The assessment can provide you with specific strategies for significant savings on your electricity bill. For example, building design and layout, including planting trees for shade and using skylight windows, can reduce cooling and lighting costs. Installing programmable thermostats, upgrading to an energy-efficient or solar hot water heater, switching to LED light bulbs, and using motion-sensor light switches can also help your business save.

Maintaining office and plant equipment properly and encouraging employees to develop energy-saving habits are other possible suggestions that could result from an energy efficiency assessment. An experienced electrician could offer other strategies, like identifying and eliminating phantom electrical loads (the electricity consumed by electronics and appliances, like clocks and microwaves, while they’re not in use).

2. Improve employee productivity

Clean, efficient buildings can boost staff productivity. With the insights and improvement strategies from your energy efficiency assessment, you can create a cleaner and healthier working space to support higher productivity in your employees. For example, smarter, more responsive, and energy efficient temperature regulation can keep workers at an optimal temperature, which can improve concentration.

Similarly, a clean, green approach to maintaining high indoor air quality can positively impact employee productivity. Indoor workspaces with high circulation rates (more outdoor air brought in), lower sources of volatile organic compounds, and lower carbon dioxide rates are associated with workers who demonstrate better decision-making abilities. At a general level, healthier workplaces could mean happier employees, who tend to be more engaged and productive than unhappy employees.

3. Reduce your business’s impact on the environment

An energy efficiency assessment provides valuable insights for creating an environmentally friendly business. In turn, this can allow your business to dramatically reduce its impact on the environment and preserve natural resources. Simple changes like using solar hot water systems minimise your gas or electricity bill. Bigger changes like installing solar panels can also cut your electricity bill and provide your business with green credentials, boosting reputation and brand appeal.

Consumers are often environmentally conscious and may prefer to buy from businesses with environmentally friendly practices. Finally, your energy efficiency assessment can make your business more sustainable and less dependent on natural resources and costs that might rise due to climate change.

4. Can increase market value of office building

One of the outcomes of a professional energy efficiency assessment is that the recommendations can increase the market value of your office building. If your business owns the premises, you could obtain a higher market value if you decide to sell. If you choose to lease it out, you’ll likely be able to command higher rental yields and experience lower vacancy rates. This could be because your tenants will have lower operating costs, with associated benefits like sustainability credentials, sustainability, better quality workspaces, and higher team productivity as well.

Using energy efficiency assessments to improve your business

An energy efficiency assessment by a qualified, accredited energy assessor could pave the way to significant energy cost savings. In addition, you could find ways to achieve employee productivity improvements, lessen your business’s environmental impact, and even increase the value of your premises and building. As such, the value of an energy efficiency assessment goes beyond ongoing energy cost savings, all the way to marketing benefits for your business, achieving sustainability, and improving property values.

Looking for ways to improve energy efficiency in your business? Platinum Electricians can help. We have industry-leading electricians with extensive experience across commercial and industrial sites, as well as with solar installations and maintenance. Contact us for a discussion about our services now.