This article was written by Anthony Ramsey, President of the Pet Industry Association of Australia (PIAA).

With ever increasing energy costs now is the time to review your businesses current energy usage, especially if you have not turned your attention to this detail in your business’s operations previously.

Understanding how much energy your business equipment uses and costs you to run then enables you to properly explore the savings you could realise by upgrading to a modern energy efficient replacement.  

Old inefficient fridges, freezers, hot water systems, air conditioners, heaters, washing machines, dryers, pumps, compressors and lighting could be costing your business way more than you realise in unnecessary energy input costs. This is further magnified every time your electricity or gas price increases.

Even if you funded replacing old inefficient appliances with new efficient ones completely yourself you are likely to save many times the purchase cost over the years ahead. The best part is however there are dozens of different government grants and rebates available to help you cover these costs and in some cases see no out of pocket cost at all.

NSW and Victoria seem to offer the most generous rebate schemes toward upgrading your business equipment. The exercise is however still worthwhile, even if you receive no rebate at all, as power prices will continue to rise. You can also still take advantage of instant asset right off schemes while they remain in place.

Recently my own aquarium business in NSW upgraded our old air conditioning unit to a new 7-star reverse cycle inverter system and replaced our old electric hot water system with a new heat pump system. I received a $4000 contribution from the NSW government toward the cost of this equipment and have calculated further savings of at least $2000 a year in reduced energy usage. If you added lighting, fridges, freezers etc to this you could magnify the savings even more.

Its also worth noting that many of the same rebates available for small business are also available for residential purchases if you upgrade hot water systems and air conditioners in your home as well.  

Other energy saving tips can be as simple as setting your aircon a couple of degrees warmer in summer and a few degrees cooler in winter to better match the season. For Aquarium stores, also consider the same logic as above to adjust your in tank heaters thermostats. It’s also critical you don’t set your temperatures such that tank heaters are fighting your air conditioning. You will be amazed how much you can reduce your energy consumption by.

Solar systems are another obvious consideration. This is opening a can of worms beyond the scope of this short article, there remains many generous solar subsidies available and the return on investment on solar in general makes more and more sense. Especially for businesses that would consume every kilowatt of energy they produce. Obviously seek independent professional advice because there are so many variables to factor in. It is however definitely worth your consideration and will likely further drive down your businesses electricity bill

I have compiled a list of links below.

National business grant finder, simply filter what grants and rebates your business may be eligible for by completing the questions about your business.

NSW Business energy efficiency programs

Victorian Business energy efficiency programs

Queensland NSW Business energy efficiency programs

South Australian Business energy efficiency programs

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