Energy efficiency at work

Worker giving advice at vineyard

There are initiatives that you can look at which may improve your energy efficiency and in turn reduce your electricity bill.

The following list sets out some suggestions but it is important that you seek expert advice to determine the best option for your circumstances. The Office of Environment and Heritage has a website which provides useful advice to businesses for improving energy efficiency and provides a list of energy efficiency experts who can be contacted to determine the best solution for your individual circumstances.

Power factor correction

Power factor is a measure of how effectively you are using your power, and is measured between 0 and 1 (1 being the perfect score). It will vary from month to month depending on your usage patterns. If you are regularly scoring less than 0.9, you have low power factor, in which case you are likely to be paying for more electricity than you need. Download the Power Factor Correction fact sheet for more detail on power factor and steps to improve it.

Shifting load

You can use simple manual methods (such as timers) or move some apparatus to controlled load tariffs (that we can switch on and off) to change the time when you use electricity and save money. An example is night time water pumping. More information on controlled load tariffs is available in the Controlled Load fact sheet.

Conservation Voltage Reduction (CVR)

This is where we lower voltage at the transformer of a customer who has a dedicated transformer, generally on their premise. This would include most irrigators, schools etc. Contact us on 132391 if you would like to investigate this option.

Voltage Optimisation

Customers without a dedicated transformer may benefit from installing a voltage optimiser at their main switchboard that dynamically controls the output voltage in the ‘ideal’ range around 230 Volts.

Installation of Solar PV

The Clean Energy Council has information on the installation of solar equipment and a list of ‘preferred’ installers.

However, if you are moving to demand tariffs it may not be as beneficial to utilise solar energy as solar panels may not reduce the demand component of your electricity bill. You may be better off investing in Power Factor Correction, Demand Management or Energy Management Systems. Also it is worth noting that solar can adversely impact power factor.

Installation of Solar Hot Water

This may benefit customers such as schools, motels etc who use large amounts of hot water.

Energy Management System

This is where a customer installs a computerised control system to manage the electricity load so that all appliances are not running at the same time.

Energy efficient lighting

This may benefit customers such as schools.

Variable speed drives and pumps

These inverter controlled devices minimise ‘start-up’ demand and also operate in their most efficient band.

Battery storage

Batteries can be used to store energy generated from solar systems, or from the grid, and provide a way for you to efficiently manage your energy use. More information is available at the Office of Environment & Heritage website.

Negotiate a better deal with a Retailer

Shopping around for a new energy retailer could get you a better deal on electricity and save you money.