Working smarter

Unleash your horsepower with energy efficiency

When stepping into the arena of a running a small business, there are so many hats you will wear. You need to saddle up, grab the reins and brace yourself to learn as you go. But there is something you can take in your stride which can help you stitch up the savings. 

Save on your energy – no bull

Sarah Button and Partners has joined thousands of other Australian businesses who have taken advantage of a free consultation initiative by the Australian government – the Business Energy Advice Program (BEAP). The service simply involves having a phone conversation with a business specialist who then provides a detailed report with recommendations to help you save – potentially big bucks, on your energy usage and efficiency.

For Sarah, running multiple family businesses side-by-side requires a great deal of adaptability. Located in Tamworth New South Wales, she runs a cattle and horse farm while providing cabin accommodation to tourists. Over the years, she’s fine-tuned the businesses and runs a stable and efficient operation. However, understanding energy costs and keeping on top of them is always a challenge.

To roundup her situation, Sarah had already applied a few minor lighting improvements to the accommodation arm. She regularly seeks professional help to maintain a pump that services her property. A few years ago Sarah had also signed up to a discount agreement on her energy, but after a while noticed prices had jumped up.

“I had a sense that the energy bills were out of control but I didn’t know where to go”, said Sarah. 

Taking the reins

Fortunately, Sarah discovered BEAP, a program funded by the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources. What followed was a scheduled phone consultation with a business expert who reviewed her energy bills and gained an understanding of her business operations. Sarah saddled up – her goal was to get on top of her multiple energy bills and become more energy efficient to make real savings.

“I was surprised by how simple and easy it was to speak with someone who wasn’t trying to sell me something. It was a relief to have someone who could help structure the thinking for me and provide clear recommendations on what to do next”, said Sarah adding “it was boom, boom, boom!”

BEAP’s energy efficiency consultant assessed her energy consumption and provided a report with tailored and easy to action recommendations. Sarah felt listened to and understood and has already applied some changes. “What excites me is that I’ve had help and am connected to additional services which can help me do the legwork,” Sarah noted.

Mastering the ropes to savings

One of the recommendations from the BEAP consultation was to look at energy provider options and negotiate a better deal. She was connected with the not-for-profit energy broker Business Australia Energy to compare her energy bills with others deals available to businesses. The savings have been remarkable, Sarah stated “not only have I been able to make managing the energy bill for my business easier, I’ve already identified annual savings of more than $2,300 on my current contract. That’s real money that we can put to good use in the business.”  

The horse-riding service extends into the evening and once the running costs are managed better, it has the potential to be a cash cow. The main cost is providing sufficient lighting for the guests to be able to ride at night and lighting up the stables and sheds. With traditional flood lights consuming exorbitant amounts of energy, Sarah is looking to replace them with energy-efficient LED lights.

The BEAP consultant has also provided Sarah with smart tips including how she may be able to reduce the cost of her improvements via NSW Lighting for Small Business.

For Sarah, the BEAP experience “was quick and easy” and her advice to other businesses is they “need to do the same.”

Jenny Dikranian

Content Writer, Business Australia

Jenny Dikranian is a content writer passionate about entrepreneurship and innovation in inspiring business success.

Full business energy consultation

Are your energy costs soaring? If you’re a small business with 6 to 20 employees or a micro business who is drought affected, you can take part in our free energy advice program. Book a comprehensive consultation with a business expert and receive a detailed report and recommendations on how to save

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