Published: The Daily Telegraph Date: 20 September 2010
Save Power Challenge... Carl Ding, who runs the IGA Oakhill supermarket in Castle Hill, Sydney.
Businesses taking part in the NSW Government's Energy Efficiency for Small Business Program are making changes to help them save power and cut costs.
Power monitors are being installed as part of the Save Power Challenge to pinpoint how power is being used and where savings can be made.
Monitors also help businesses measure the energy and cost savings they are making through the Energy Efficiency for Small Business Program.
Carl Ding, who runs the IGA Oakhill supermarket in Castle Hill, has only had his monitor for a day, but says it's interesting seeing how his business consumes power over 24 hours.
"The monitor has already shown us how many dollars per hour and per day we are using," he said.
"Sometimes its $6 per hour, sometimes it's $10, at night it's only $2.
Mr Ding says NSW Government assistance made it worth investing in more energy efficient lighting: "We changed 130 lights -- it was a big job and took my handyman two days. But we've already got back more than $3000 towards the cost of it from the government.
He's now considering installing a motor on his meat fridge. It will reduce the fridge's power consumption by 10-20 per cent and Mr Ding will be eligible for a further $1700 if he decides to go ahead.
He says these funds make the NSW program attractive: "It's very important to help small business cut costs. The Government is covering half the cost [of approved energy efficiency improvements]."
Jenny Hong, owner of Scrambled, a cafe in Enmore, was preparing for the installation of her monitor when we spoke to her: "I'm looking forward to getting the monitor. Although the bills from your electricity company usually show a bit of a comparison with the previous year, they don't really show gradual progress. We're putting so much work into it [saving power] that we need something to measure our progress."
Ms Hong welcomes the government payments on qualifying investments and is taking the opportunity to upgrade to energy efficient refrigeration and lighting. She was happy to choose her own fridge, but her assessor's input was invaluable when it came to lighting.
"I've chosen my lighting and found suppliers with the help of the energy efficiency consultant. He was able to guide me on the different types and recommend the best option. He brought in an expert to look at my existing lights and we did a test on the new LED options. It worked well, so we didn't have to do any rewiring."