Teaching employees how to save electricity could save a company as much as 10% of its current electricity bill. That’s according to energy services consultants, MaNoa, who say each employee’s electricity use costs the average company around R300 to R400.
“That’s exceptionally high, and some companies even pay more,” says MaNoa's MD, Asanda Makanda. “But firing employees isn’t the answer. There are easier ways of slashing your bill.”
Without spending a cent, Makanda says it’s possible to drive down a electricity bill by as much as 10%.
“All you need to do is train your employees to switch off whatever equipment or lighting they’re not using, and be more mindful of their general electricity use.”
Equipment such as computers, photocopiers, scanners and televisions chew up great portions of the electricity bill, even in standby mode. “Also, by switching off such equipment, you’re likely to significantly increase its life,” she says.
Another big drain on a bill are lights and air-conditioning systems that are left on when no one is around. But, how can businesses encourage employees to change such deeply entrenched behaviour?
“Incentive schemes are an excellent way to help get employees on board with the savings drive – and build some team spirit while you’re at it,” says Makanda.
For example, one department or building could be pitted against another in a monthly competition for prizes.
“All it takes is installing a meter that will track exactly how much electricity is being saved.”
And, by making additional adjustments to a company’s energy efficiency, Makanda says it’s possible to drive the bill down to as low as R180 per person per month. This super-low cost was achieved by a company in Sandton, whose premises meet SANS 204 energy efficient building standards and run a solar-powered system with the electricity grid as back-up.
“This is a benchmark for what can be achieved with the right kind of commitment from a company,” she says. “However, we believe that smaller, more affordable changes could result in a bill reduction to around R220 per person.
"This figure is definitely achievable with a comprehensive energy efficiency plan, drawn up by professional energy services consultants, that tackles such energy thieves as lighting, air-conditioning and water heating. Add to this a little everyday help from your energy-aware employees, and you’re sure to save more on your electricity bill each month,” concludes Makanda.