Reduce Business Energy Costs With A Comprehensive Energy Review

Are you tired of rising electricity costs eating into your business profits and are you worried that the problem is only going to get worse – with costs continuing to rise in the coming years?

We shared these concerns. In an attempt to reduce our business energy costs, we commenced an energy audit of our office in 2014.

The outcome of our comprehensive energy review led to the installation of energy-saving devices that reduced our electricity usage by over 55%!

Find out how below…

SRJ Walker Wayland’s energy review: How we reduced our energy costs by 55%

 

Overview

Amid escalating energy prices in 2014, SRJ Walker Wayland (SRJ) undertook our own in-house energy audit, in order to reduce business energy costs.

Our main office in Brendale Queensland is 750 square metres in size, and operates between the hours of 8am to 6pm (weekdays only) for a total of 50 operating hours per week.

Prior to 2014, the office utilised 140,000 kilowatts of electricity per annum, which placed us on a demand-based business tariff.

Ideally, we wanted to reduce this usage well below 100,000 kilowatts, which would allow us to move to a lower, small business fixed-tariff rate.

Internal business review

In February 2014, our in-house cost reduction specialist reviewed the energy usage across the business.

The results of the audit highlighted that the main electricity usage on site was air conditioning, followed by lighting and computer equipment.

Business case recommendation

After the energy audit and discussions with various electrical and solar suppliers, a business case was prepared by our specialist that identified investments in lighting upgrades, A/C adjustments, and a recommendation to invest in a solar panel system and other measures.

The proposal presented to our Board of Directors included a full return on investment analysis, identifying areas of investment and the timeframe for recovery.

The series of investments proposed indicated that the outcome would lead to a substantial reduction in business electricity usage.

For the solar option of the investment, SRJ partnered with Springers Solar in North Brisbane, a local family owned business with 25+ years of experience. The company provided a solar proposal and return on investment analysis that was cross checked by our in-house specialist and found to be reasonable and conservative.

Implementation

The Board accepted the recommendations in full and a staged implementation of these investment initiatives was planned.

This commenced within 60 days of approval:

  • Phase one of the investments occurred in April 2014 with immediate savings recognised in our electricity bill the following month.
  • Phase two occurred in June 2014, when Springers Solar installed a rooftop 30 kilowatt, 100 panel solar system.
Key outcomes
  • The investment made was fully recovered in a period of less than 28 months through electricity expenditure savings.
  • The combined investments in lighting, solar, and other initiatives resulted in an immediate drop in our electricity consumption by over 55%: annual electricity usage dropped from 140,000 kilowatts to around 60,000 kilowatts.
  • We were able to apply to Energex to change our tariff from a demand-based tariff to a small business fixed tariff rate.
  • These changes saw our monthly bill drop from around $3,200 a month to around $1,500 a month.
Summary: Solar panel performance

The graphs below reflect our solar panel performance, with a snapshot from July to November 2017, utilising our 30 kilowatt 100 solar panel system.

The savings below do not include the other savings obtained through lighting upgrades and other measures.

SRJ Walker Wayland’s solar production on a sunny day in December 2017 of 178 kilowatts…

SRJ Walker Wayland’s 5 months of solar production with $6,081 in electricity savings…

(based on a fixed tariff rate of 28 cents per KwH)

Want to achieve similar energy savings as us?

SRJ takes a holistic approach to reducing electricity consumption by reviewing your business usage and providing guidance that takes into account your industry and specific operational requirements.

We have the experience and professional partnerships to make a difference and help you reduce your business energy costs.

Did you know………

  • Many businesses can reduce their initial energy-efficiency investment costs by taking advantage of the current federal and state government subsidies and grants. These can cover up to 40% of your energy-efficiency investments.
  • If you reduce your electricity usage materially, you may qualify to change your business electricity tariff and further reduce your electricity bills
  • Battery storage prices are expected to continue to fall considerably over the coming years, opening up more options for future savings.
  • Installing a rooftop solar system now may help you take advantage of future battery opportunities and lower solar prices (which may increase with scale back of subsidies, as battery prices fall).

To start saving on your energy costs, contact Tracy Johnson at SRJ Walker Wayland: 07 3490 9988