Carbon Tax and an Eco-Friendly Office (you may be entitled to small business goverment subsidies you didn’t know existed)

Posted on 29 July 2011

We’ve all read about it in the newspapers and listened to debates on radio and television. What can we do in our daily working lives to make a difference. Below is information for small business and some simple tips which can easily be implemented in your office.

The NSW Government has an Energy Efficiency for Small Business Program available to businesses with electricity usage up to $20,000 per year or who have up to 10 full time employees. It offers subsidised energy assessments and a tailored energy action plan which could assist you to save your business money. Further details are available here.

The NSW Government website goes on to say “there is no simple definition of 'sustainability'. It can be an idea, a property of living systems, a manufacturing method or a way of life. In fact, there may be as many definitions of sustainability as there are people trying to define it.” As businesses we must consider how the environment we create to function in, within our office space, flows.

Consider whether your business is:-

  • living within the limits of what the environment can provide
  • understands the many interconnections between economy, society and the environment and
  • the equal distribution of resources and opportunities.

Further details are available here.

A few tips which are easy to implement in your office:-

Turn off your lights - Lights are the biggest killer of energy in the corporate world. Turn off the lights in offices not being used. An average globe uses 60 watts in an hour. If you turn that light off for one hour a day you will save 22,000 watts of energy in a year.

Switch to compact fluorescent lamps - These bulbs are the spiral ones as opposed to the traditional round light bulb. Using one of these lasts as long as SIX traditional globes and saves up to 75% of the energy. They cost a bit more off the shelf but save heaps in long term costs. Easy.

Change from Google to Blackle - Powered by Google, with the same searches it just has a black background instead of white. A change to Blackle would save thousands of tonnes of greenhouse gases every year. Turn things off at the power point - At the end of the day we usually just turn things off at their console switch instead of reaching around and turning them off at the power point. Most people do not realize that a lot of power is wasted when you leave the power point on. You’ll see the difference in your power bill.

Don’t throw out printer cartridges - The toner that you use in the printer shouldn’t get thrown out. Printer cartridges are designed to be refilled. Refilling them is cheaper than buying a new one. Leave a box next to the printer and put the used cartridge in for collection by one of many recycling firms or just deliver to your local Post Office.

Clean your Air Conditioner filter - living in Australia, our air conditioners are always on at work. Something you can do to save a lot of power is replace the filter (or clean it) to make sure that it is not struggling to operate and is running at peak efficiency.

Turn your A/C down one degree - Every degree that you turn the air conditioner down saves a lot of energy. Aim for comfortable not chilled or boiled.

Make sure the work kitchen fridge is not leaking - Fridges that leak air out the side because of poor seals waste a lot of energy.

What are your tips for making your workplace more energy efficient?