Manage energy costs

Useful information about how to bring your workplace energy costs down.

Network and metering charges form part of the electricity bill you receive from your energy retailer. The other main charge is for the electricity you consume.

There are two main ways you can manage the cost of electricity to your business.

The first is by ensuring you are on the best tariff and plan for the nature of your business and in particular, maximising financial advantages offered by Time of Use tariff arrangements.

The second is to make the most of opportunities to improve energy efficiency in your operations – including the management of network demand charges.

Network tariffs and charges

There are different classes of tariffs, depending on whether you draw your power from low or high voltage networks. There are also different categories of tariffs depending on when you use the most power.

Our Tariff Structure Statement to apply from 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2026 makes some significant changes to our structures in order to provide greater choice and control for business customers.

You’ll need to speak with your energy retailer to negotiate any changes to your tariff rates.

For small business customers consuming less than 40MWh per year, we will amend our current time of use (ToU) tariff by introducing a shorter peak window of 9.00am – 9.00pm workdays. This new ToU tariff will then be set as the default for customers upgrading to three-phase power supply and/or installing solar PV. Any small businesses on the legacy ToU tariffs will also be moved onto the new structure.

There are no changes for small business customers consuming over 40MWh per year and less than 160MWh per year who are already on a demand tariff.

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Do you have a small to medium business?

For information about demand charges for small to medium business customers follow the link

View SMB demand charges

From July 2020, the time we measure demand for large business customers using over 160MWh per year will be changed from all hours of the day to 8am to 8pm workdays. This provides an incentive for large businesses to, when possible, make the most of opportunities to shift high electricity loads into times when lower tariff prices apply.

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Does your business use a lot of electricity?

Charges for large electricity users click here.

View large electricity users charges

Energy efficiency

Improving your business’ energy efficiency could also help reduce your electricity bill. We have listed some initiatives below that may help but recommend you seek expert advice to decide the best option for your business. Specialist advisors can help with energy audits and technical support.

Power factor correction

Power factor is a measure of how effectively you are using your power inside your business. It will vary from month to month, depending on usage patterns. You can improve a low power factor in your business by installing corrective equipment like capacitors that help decrease your total electricity demand.

Shifting load

You can use simple manual methods (such as timers) or move some apparatus based on Time of Use tariff periods to change when you use electricity and save money.

 

Voltage optimisation

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

Install solar or batteries

The large roofs of some commercial, industrial, and retail buildings make solar PV a viable option for generating some of your own electricity. Solar hot water may also be beneficial for customers such as hotels that use large amounts of hot water.

We are members of the Clean Energy Council, and their accredited installers can advise on designs and plans for large-scale systems. Please ensure you compare the potential outcomes of a solar system and how it may affect or interact with other alternatives for energy efficiency as part of the business case.

If you go down this path, then you will also need to communicate with us to pre-approve any connection to the network to enable exports of any excess generation ability.

While batteries can be an integral part of your overall energy management system, it has been shown that a complete energy system that integrates these along with renewable energy sources, standby generators and the grid supplies the optimum energy solution for your business. The benefit of this includes better demand management, power quality issue mitigation and a lowering of energy consumption costs while still supplying a reliable source of back-up power.

Energy management system

This is a computerised control system which manages electricity load so that all appliances are not running at the same time. This may also involve:

  • adopting energy efficient lighting controlled by timed devices
  • installing inverters on variable speed drives and pumps which can control start up demand and efficiency outcomes.
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