The carbon tax is almost upon us, and yet many business owners are still dazed and confused about what it means for their business. Fair enough too, it can be a fairly complex topic to get your head around.
While it’s not a direct tax on households or smaller businesses, there will be indirect impacts that we all need to consider. Only around 500 of Australia’s largest polluters will be required to directly pay a carbon price. Impacted industries include electricity and energy generators, mining, business transport, waste and industrial processes.
So, thinking hard about how your business can reduce its energy consumption is becoming even more important. Saving energy isn’t just about reducing your carbon footprint; it can also save you money.
If you’re looking to put energy saving and money saving measures into action, here are quick and easy ways to go about it:
- Measure how much energy your business uses by taking weekly meter readings. This makes it easier to see when improvements are working, and how much you are saving.
- Use low energy light bulbs and replace standard fluorescent tubes with (more expensive but longer lasting) LED tubes.
- Install movement detectors to control lighting in areas not in constant or frequent use, such as toilets and meeting rooms.
- Use time switches to stop unnecessary heating and lighting use, and use thermostats to control temperatures.
- Install draft-proofing around windows and doors to reduce heating and cooling costs. An insulated building can help reduce heat loss by up to 40 percent.
- Don’t leave electrical equipment such as computers and photocopiers switched on or on standby mode for long periods when not in use.
- Involve your team. Let them help you to work out an action plan for making the business more energy efficient and therefore more competitive.
- Enlist someone as the Energy Champion of your business so they can allocate staff certain energy-saving responsibilities.
- Monitor your progress and keep your energy management system under constant review.
- Consider locking in contracts with key suppliers now, at pre-carbon tax rates.
For many business owners, the introduction of the carbon tax is a question of ‘is it an opportunity or a risk?’. It can be an opportunity, but we all need to act now and plan ahead for the change. MYOB has just released a 14-page booklet that contains carbon tax facts, tips to help businesses lower their carbon footprint to save money and steps to help minimise the impacts and maximise the opportunities.
You’ll find the Carbon Tax Toolkit here. Hopefully it makes things a little clearer.