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Helping Small Business Cut Electricity Bills

ERM Power Limited (ASX: EPW) is on a mission to reduce electricity “bill shock” by helping small business owners more efficiently manage their electricity costs.

ERM Power Executive General Manager Business Energy Steve Rogers said small businesses were often faced with the challenge of juggling their expenses with their cash flow, and the cost of electricity was often a shock when the bill arrived.

Mr Rogers said that although the cost of electricity was often a large part of businesses’ overall expenses, it didn’t have to be this way.

“As a business-only electricity retailer, we work with nearly 33,000 small to medium sized businesses throughout Australia, all of whom have different electricity needs,” he said.

“What’s common to many small businesses is that busy owners don’t often look closely at their bill, understand how they are using their electricity or make appropriate adjustments to the way they use it,” he said.

Mr Rogers said there were a number of factors that should be examined by small business owners who wanted to reduce their electricity bill. These included reviewing the existing contract, the rate being paid and electricity usage within the business.

Businesses should firstly look at whether they were on a market contract or standing offer, which could be determined by reviewing the bill itself or contacting suppliers, he said.

“If you’re on a standing offer, you are very likely to be able to save money by switching to a market contract. Market contracts are predominantly more competitively priced by energy retailers.”

Mr Rogers recommended overall cents per kilowatt hour as being the best way to measure the real cost of electricity, and an accurate way of comparing prices.

“A lot of businesses are paying too much for their power. We’ve helped a number of small businesses save thousands of dollars just by switching to us and getting a lower rate,” he said.

Finally, small business owners should also look closely at how much electricity they were using, and consider ERM Power’s top energy saving tips (below) to help reduce costs.

ERM Power’s top energy saving tips for small businesses:

  1. Turn computer screens off every night – screens use more power than the computer itself. Consider using laptops if you can – they typically use 50 – 90 per cent less power than a desktop computer.
  2. Service air-conditioning and heating facilities regularly to ensure they are energy efficient.
  3. Set the air-conditioning to 18 degrees in winter and 25 degrees in summer and fix the controls so they can’t be adjusted.
  4. Install a time clock on air-conditioning and heating so it turns on and off automatically at specified times.
  5. Make sure the staffroom fridge is not over-full. Ensure it’s cleared out at least once a fortnight to leave some room for airflow and allow the fridge to operate efficiently.
  6. Use available natural light over artificial light where possible – open the blinds and turn on fewer lights.
  7. Install motion sensors for lighting in unoccupied areas like the toilets, copy room and storerooms so lights are only on when they need to be.
  8. Check your electricity bill. If you are on a time of use tariff, consider whether it is possible to shift some energy usage from peak times to cheaper off peak time.
  9. Monitor usage patterns – compare your bill with previous bills and see if your bill is higher than you would expect for your normal business operations. This may be a result of an estimated read, but if it doesn’t look right, contact your retailer.
  10. If you’re investing in energy efficient products, always buy quality. This can often result in a more expensive initial outlay but will ensure your products last well beyond their payback period.

-ENDS-

For further information

Tracey Palmer
Phone: +61 7 3021 3266
Mobile: +61 438 310 539
Email: tpalmer@ermpower.com.au

About ERM Power

ERM Power is an Australian energy company operating electricity sales, generation and energy solutions businesses. The Company has grown to become the second largest electricity provider to commercial businesses and industrials in Australia by loadi. A growing range of energy solutions products and services are being delivered, including lighting and energy efficiency software and data analytics, to the Company’s existing and new customer base. The Company operates 662 megawatts of low emission, gas-fired power stations in Western Australia and Queensland.

iBased on ERM Power analysis of latest published information.