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- An energy strategy can offer a legitimate return on investment for businesses.
- Do your research before choosing which supplier you engage for your energy needs.
- Consider a solar power purchase agreement if your business uses a large amount of electricity during daylight hours.
The cost of energy can be a drag on the bottom line, but businesses can closely manage that cost by introducing a whole-of-business energy strategy.
Businesses can no longer afford to be in the dark when it comes to managing energy costs. An energy strategy is an action plan to manage the supply, procurement, cost and efficiency of energy across all areas of a business.
A carefully planned and implemented energy strategy can offer a legitimate return on investment.
Businesses that choose to implement an energy strategy make an informed decision to be clever about who they partner with for their energy needs.
An energy strategy can allow businesses to take advantage of, and manage, peak and off-peak energy rates and usage while making informed decisions about alternative energy sources such as solar energy.
By introducing an energy strategy, businesses can gain insights into how much they are spending on energy at various times throughout the year (for example, in winter versus summer) and can budget accordingly for future energy costs and realise savings across the business.
Power purchase agreements
Ryan Willemsen-Bell, group manager - business energy at Origin Energy, says that renewable energy sources such as solar power should form part of a business action plan when considering the implementation of an energy strategy.
“Taking advantage of renewable energy services can help to drive real cost savings,” Willemsen-Bell says. “For eligible businesses that use a large amount of electricity during daylight hours, signing up to a solar power purchase agreement (PPA) is an effective way to increase their energy efficiency and save on their cost of energy.”
“Taking advantage of renewable energy services can help to drive real cost savings.”
Under a typical solar PPA, businesses do not pay for system set up costs. The solar system is owned and maintained by the supplier. Solar energy is purchased at a low rate and businesses are able to guard against future rate hikes by locking in rates for up to 15 years.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS) Energy Account, Australia 2014-2015 report valued Australia’s total supply of energy products at basic prices at A$155b.
Buying energy is big business, and businesses need to make informed decisions when choosing which supplier they partner with for their energy needs. Certain suppliers may be better positioned than others to offer cost-saving benefits for certain businesses, so it pays to do your research before engaging a supplier.
Implementing an energy strategy
Follow these five steps to implement an energy strategy in your business.
- Gather information on how much your business has spent on energy in recent years to identify patterns of low and high energy consumption.
- Leverage renewable energy, such as a solar PPA, as part of your energy strategy.Include all key business stakeholders in the formation of your energy strategy to ensure transparency across the business.
- Include all key business stakeholders in the formation of your energy strategy to ensure transparency across the business.
- Partner with an energy supplier that compliments your business and has the flexibility to help you realise your energy strategy.
- Consistently track, measure and report on energy performance.
Visit the Origin website or call 1300 134 138 to find out more about Origin's electricity plans for businesses.