When it comes to reducing our energy consumption here at the SBN, I’m prepared to make some tough sacrifices. Except when it comes to the office coffee machine. (Well, I’ve got to maintain my own energy levels!)
Energy’s a significant input cost to any business. But did you know that you could save a fifth of that cost by taking steps to run more efficiently?
The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) estimates that a staggering $2 billion could eventually be saved each year across our private sector. Energy efficiency is also one of the cheapest ways to cut carbon emissions – and if you’re an exporter, not only is the value of lowering your carbon footprint huge, it’s becoming more imperative for Kiwi businesses!
Mike Underhill, chief executive of EECA is strong on the bottom line benefits to New Zealand businesses. He quotes the figure that every dollar invested in an energy audit brings a return of $7.50 in savings. “We’ve worked with a lot of businesses that have gained a competitive edge by saving energy. And we’re working closely with export-driven sectors – such as dairy and wine production – that need to prove their carbon credentials in global markets,” he says.
Improving your energy efficiency can be one of the simplest and most cost effective strategies to creating a carbon footprint that’s more Cinderella than Ugly Sister.
When it comes to using energy as wisely as possible, there are some common places where energy waste tends to lurk – business lighting is one of the biggies, EECA tells me. Making sure things are switched off – whether automatically or by the humans using them – makes a difference.
But if you plan to make larger changes, or invest in new technology, it makes sense to get an expert or two on board. EECA is helping smaller businesses do this through its ‘Energising Business’ programme that has contracted a range of energy experts throughout the country to help – be it computers, boilers or heavy fleets.
If you run a small business and spend less than $300,000 a year on energy per site, you could get funding of a third of the cost of an energy assessment, and towards investing in the recommended improvements (up to $30,000).
Sounds like a good deal to me. EECA has other programmes targeting specific business sectors – like manufacturing – so it’s worth checking out what’s on offer.
You can find out more at http://www.eecabusiness.govt.nz/
Righto, I’m off to recharge with a double flat white. (And yes, I’ll be turning the machine off when I’m done!)