Top 10 tips to cut your energy consumption costs
If you talk the talk, you have to walk the walk.
And that’s exactly what Brisbane-based Applied Eco Solutions has done.
The ecoBiz 1 Star partner is a specialist environmental consultancy focused on the practical aspects of environmental planning, risk management and operational compliance of their clients.
So the business should be switched on when it comes to all things environmental.
My name is Melanie Dixon, (pictured below), Director and Principal Environmental Consultant at Applied Eco Solutions. We provide a unique blend of operational and environmental knowledge and experience.
With the help of the ecoBiz program and great energy management practices, including good solar orientation of our building, switching off unused appliances and reducing the size of air conditioner systems, the team has achieved almost 20 per cent in energy savings.
We work closely with our clients to develop and deliver practical solutions to fit their business or project requirements. We have experience in delivering projects for clients in the oil and gas, port, government, urban development, and service industry sectors.
My Top 10 tips that any small business can implement to save energy and money are:
1. Switch off applications at the wall when not in use
2. Adjust your air-conditioning settings – 24 degrees in summer and 18 degrees in winter
3. Buy in bulk online and get delivered to your company rather than driving to pick up supplies
4. Clean your light bulbs and computer screens
5. Fill up your dishwasher before running
6. Use automatic switch-off timers on larger equipment such as printers
7. Change your lights to high energy efficiency bulbs
8. When buying new appliances, research and determine the long term running costs of items
9. Consider the natural light and air flow when looking for work spaces
10. Encourage your employees to determine and implement their own energy saving measures
EcoBiz case study: Applied Eco Solutions
Read Melanie Dixon’s own guide to preparing a good environmental checklist.
I have worked in companies that have a checklist for all occasions. Saying that there was a checklist guide to make sure that all checklists were filled out may be a slight exaggeration although it wasn’t that far off.
Although the variety and quantity of checklists may not be lacking for many companies, I would suggest that many checklists do not fulfill the purpose of a “good” checklist.
An environmental checklist should provide an easy process to check and sign off on a specific aspect. This could be a weekly general check of a work site to ensure environmental controls are being implemented or checking a high risk environmental aspect.
Checklists should not be onerous or difficult to use. They should be able to be filled out in a few minutes. Also any specific findings should be passed on to the relevant person in a timely manner. This second point is missed too often which means the requirement for completing the checklist is also being missed.
These are the points that I think are required for a good environmental checklist:
Specific purpose: Do not create a checklist if it is not needed. Each checklist should be developed to check specific environmental requirements or control. Often there is already a checklist for a similar purpose that has been developed and being using. Where possible, combine environmental, health and safety and operational requirements into one checklist.
Easy to use format and wording: Depending on the requirements for completing the checklist there are different formats and wording that can be used. From a “yes” or “no” form to a purpose made booklet of forms. Watch out for double negatives and phrasing questions that require more than one response when developing your checklist.
If it is too simple: I have seen too often that checklists become a tick and flick process with the person completing the checklist not actually checking the controls. This is a waste of everyone’s time. Also forms that are being signed off when something has not actually been completed then creates a liability issue. Beware of tick and flick.
Seek feedback: If you have created a checklist then make sure it is being completed and is fit for purpose. If not, then seek feedback from the person using the checklist and make the appropriate changes.
Ensure the information in the form is being used: the purpose of the form is to check the implementation and management of controls. If this information is not being used for identifying issues or improvements, then this is a time wasting process.
CCIQ ecoBiz is a fully-subsidised program that helps businesses save thousands of dollars across their power, water and waste bills. Through ecoBiz, businesses put sustainable ideas into practice.
The progam provides Queensland businesses and organisations access to complimentary tools and events including one-to-one coaching, site survey, online benchmarking, workshops and webinars. Businesses currently participating in the program are achieving average savings of [figures as at Dec 2015]:
- 35 per cent of power costs
- 34 per cent of water costs
- 37 per cent of waste costs
With the help of ecoBiz sustainability experts, businesses are able to to develop and implement an action plan to help save money and increase efficiencies.