We've compiled our best energy-saving tips and resources to help you take control of your energy usage below. From optimising your heating and cooling to accessing energy-efficient upgrades, find out ways to save energy, without breaking the bank.
All businesses are unique and use energy in different ways. Having energy consumption data on hand when you shop for a better energy deal will ensure you find a deal that suits your specific needs.
Many energy retailers and distributors by allow you to download data from an electricity smart meter via a computer, smartphone or tablet. Find out more about how to access to your business’s energy data .
Lighten your bill
Once you understand your bill, you can compare energy rates. Victorian Energy Compare can help you find the best energy deal. You will need to be on an energy retail offer and have been at your premises for more than 12 months.
Each energy retailer will offer a range of contracts, each with set terms. If your business spends less than $20,000 per annum, you can use arrangements similar to households to get a new energy contract. Visit to find out more.
Smart timing, smart savings
Here are some practical steps you can implement right away to start seeing significant reductions in your energy costs over time:
- Make it a habit to shut down electrical appliances, lights, and other equipment overnight. This can be as simple as setting a rule such as, the last person to leave turns off the lights and other electrical equipment that does not need to be powered throughout the night.
- Set computers and other equipment to automatically turn off at the end of the day and remind after-hours cleaners to turn off the lights when they leave. Appliances such as printers and photocopiers can often be set to energy-saving modes.
- Set your heating and cooling system to 23-26 degrees in summer and 20 degrees in winter for maximum cost-saving benefits. Window treatments and outdoor awnings can also help reduce energy costs, as they can remind your employees to close the door more often.
- Install simple timers on equipment such as boiling water taps to ensure they're off overnight and ready to use when you arrive at work. You can even automate these processes with a building management system or equipment timers.
One of the most effective ways to reduce energy bills is by switching to solar. Installing solar panels on your business's rooftop will allow you to generate your own electricity and is the best way to cut your energy bills long term.
For Chris, like many business owners, energy was a significant overhead for his small business. To reduce his energy costs, Chris decided to install rooftop solar.
"It’s well ahead of my calculations. In the winter months prior to putting on the solar I was paying between $500 and $600 a month and once the solar was switched on that not only fell right away but, I’m selling more than I’ve purchased. It’s amazing because there's people here from 5:30am until after 6pm," he says.
Solar delivers Post Office savings
"Planning to install solar for a business that’s running mostly during the day is a no brainer because 95% of our power use is at the same time the sun is out."
The Solar for Business program offers rebates of up to $3,500, which cover up to 50% of the cost of a rooftop solar system. Rebates of up to $3,500 and interest-free loans of up to $5,000 are available to eligible businesses, reducing the total upfront installation cost of rooftop solar by as much as $8,500. Business owners who rent their premises are also eligible for rebates.
Find out if solar is right for your business and check your eligibility for a rebate.
Access energy-efficient upgrades
The Victorian Energy Upgrades (VEU) program provides businesses with upfront incentives to reduce your energy use and bills, with discounts on equipment such as efficient water heaters, space heaters and commercial and industrial gas boilers.
Under VEU, businesses can also receive discounts for bespoke ‘project based’ energy efficiency, electrification and fuel switching activities. Those businesses that participate in VEU save, on average, $3,700 on their annual energy bills. In 2021-22, more than 40,000 businesses received upgrades through the program.
Getting the most out of solar
If you’ve made the switch to solar, it’s important to be aware that timing is everything when it comes to maximising the benefits of solar energy for your business. When you use electricity throughout the day while your solar system is generating energy, you're making the most out of your solar system’s power. This is called self-consumption.
Research conducted by Solar Victoria shows that businesses save significantly more through self-consumption than households do, due to the majority of their energy use occuring during daylight hours.
If you have surplus solar electricity because you're using less than your solar system is generating, this is sold back to the grid and called exported energy.
Whenever your solar system isn't generating and you use electricity, you're taking it from the grid just like you did before you had a solar PV system – that's imported energy.
Your business will benefit the most when you maximise self-consumption and minimise imports. This can help you save money on energy bills by reducing your reliance on the grid. The more you can shift your consumption to aligning your energy usage with the sun during daytime with solar, the better.
Solar for Business Program
Eligible businesses can apply for a rebate of $3,500 to install a solar panel system, with the option to take advantage of an interest-free loan up to $5,000. Applications open until 30 June 2023.
Solar, a wise moo-ve for this dairy farmer
"It's saving us already, you know. It’s pretty nice to get a power bill half the size it was previously. That adds up pretty quickly".
Reviewed 15 May 2023