Top 5 Reasons Why Rising Energy Costs are a Burning Issue for SMEs

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Top 5 Reasons Why Rising Energy Costs are a Burning Issue for SMEs


1) There’s no way to avoid rising energy costs

istock_000009927086small.jpgElectricity bills are going to increase 10% – 15% year-over-year for the next few years.   With Australia’s perpetual increase in energy usage, fossil fuels becoming more limited, the need to reduce greenhouse gases and the requirement for new power stations to meet peak demand, there’s just no getting around it.

What can you do?

  • switch off your computers at night
  • use natural light whenever possible
  • turn off fridges over extended holiday periods and long weekends.

2) The increased costs will affect your profitability and competitiveness

Energy bills can account for up to 1/5 of an SME’s running costs. You also can’t afford to ignore it – or ignore what your competitors are doing about it. SMEs who are implementing sustainability practices are becoming preferred suppliers to other energy aware businesses; they are reaping the financial benefits of decreased power consumption; and they are getting a head start on competitors with a stronger cost advantage.

What can you do?

  • Install power switches on office appliances to turn standby power off over night
  • Join an organisation like CBID (Capalaba Business District Improvement) to create alliances with other sustainability focused local businesses and improve profitability through sustainable business practices
  • get an electricity tariff review to ensure that you are paying the best market-rates available for electricity.

3) Energy efficiency is becoming regulated

The newly released Queensland Energy Management Plan (May 2011) outlines how the government plans to avoid the equivalent of 1000MW of necessary electricity generation and infrastructure, saving the state more than $3.5 million by 2020.  New, regulated standards for buildings and appliances, along with financial incentives and penalties, will be implemented to ensure all businesses become energy aware.

What can you do?

  • buy more energy efficient appliances
  • install energy efficient lights
  • use automatic controls like sensors and timers.

4) Energy reduction is a journey

‘The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step’, the old proverb says.  So, too, with energy use reduction.  Sustainable Marketing Services took their first step a number of years ago.   Maria Anderson, Managing Director, says: “Initially when we started our sustainability journey it seemed overwhelming.  Our 3 biggest learnings on the journey have been:

1)   break it up into bite size pieces
2)   humans have great intentions, but automation is more reliable and leads to greater energy and cost savings
3)   get support from government organisations and other like-minded businesses.”

What can you do?

  • measure your current energy usage
  • identify areas that need improvement
  • create a simple, one page energy management action plan.

5) Energy efficiency seems like a tough, lonely mission

It can be hard to get started and to stay on track if you try to do it alone.  With a little bit of research, you’ll be able
to find free government resources, supportive business groups and local sustainability consultants who can help.

What can you do?

  • get help from the DERM’s EcoBiz program
  • contact a local sustainability consultant, like Envirocom in Cleveland or FWR
  • consider certification –  like NoCO2 certification from the Carbon Reduction Institute.

Want to know more about Sustainable Marketing’s journey and experiences?  We’re happy to share what’s worked and what hasn’t.  We can also help you implement sustainable marketing that helps you achieve more with less.  Give us a call on 1300 699 085.  Let’s meet for a coffee to share our sustainability challenges and successes!

MAC_229_-_tweeny_tweeny Maria Anderson
Managing DirectorT 07 3821 3939
M 0402 095 699Sustainable Marketing Services
creating sustainable profits for growing business

Winner: 2010 Best Small Business
Redlands Coast Chamber of Commerce’s 19th Annual Business Achievement Awards

Winner: 2009 Best Emerging Business
Redlands Coast Chamber of Commerce’s 18th Annual Business Achievement Awards

Finalist: Environmental Sustainability in Business and Professional Services 2010 and 2009.



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