Energy use in your building
Commercial and industrial buildings account for about 9% of New Zealand’s annual energy consumption – that’s enough energy for more than a million homes. Business premises also produce 4% of New Zealand’s carbon dioxide emissions.
Reducing waste and controlling costs are always priorities in managing a business. But when it comes to energy, many managers don’t fully appreciate the potential and scope for savings. Many companies treat energy as a fixed overhead - but it's a variable cost. Most businesses can shave at least 20% off their energy costs, and many of these savings are achievable through simple low-cost and no-cost changes.
These common sense energy saving principles for lighting, hot water, heating and cooling, and insulation in business premises can help reduce your energy consumption, save you money, and make your business environment more comfortable—and probably more productive too.
Lighting: The potential savings are huge — 40% for commercial buildings and 75% for industrial buildings — with a combination of good design, lighting control, and some common sense practices every business can achieve. More about managing lighting.
Heating and cooling: Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment accounts for about one third of the energy used by commercial buildings in New Zealand. Improving the efficiency of your HVAC system can offer some of the most significant and lowest cost energy savings for businesses. More about managing heating and cooling.
Hot water: Nearly all business premises use hot water kitchens and bathrooms. Here are some easy, low-cost actions you can take to ensure your business’ small, local hot water systems are as energy efficient as possible. More about managing hot water.
Insulation: Well-insulated buildings require less energy to maintain comfortable working temperatures, and they’re healthier environments for your staff. More about insulating your building.
Building design and refurbishing: if you’re building new premises, or refurbishing existing ones, factor energy efficiency into your process and choices right from the start, and enjoy energy and cost savings over the long term. More about building design and refurbishing.
There are times when it’s OK for your staff to switch off! Implement a Switch Off campaign to change the energy consumption habits in your business.
Switching off a computer and monitor at the end of the day can save up to $120 over the course of a year – which equates to $2,400 for a business with 20 computers. A photocopier switched off every night will typically save $100 a year. On top of these direct savings, the air conditioning won’t have to work as hard to remove the heat generated by equipment left on – which adds another 15% cost savings.
- Actively encourage staff to switch off equipment when not in use, preferably at the wall. This includes lights, machinery, office equipment, electrical appliances and air compressors.
- Agree on a "Switch Off" target, such as a 5% reduction in the annual energy bill.
- To keep momentum going, schedule "Switch Off" drives to remind colleagues about the campaign.
- Help raise awareness about your programme with posters and stickers: Download the "Switch Off" poster or request "Switch Off" stickers by email.
Help From EECA
EECA Business works with industry experts to deliver information, advice, training and funding to help you identify and unlock energy efficiencies in your business. Grant funding of up to 40% of your project cost may be available.
Use EECA's business support directory to find an expert in your region and sector.