Power down your power bills.
Saving money on fixed costs is one of the things I like to push in our Farm Budgeting Masterclass. Why? because it often takes just a little time in the office and has no impact on the productive capacity of our farm businesses. Over a decade, the savings can really add up. Reinvested in more productive uses, this capital can be used to drive further growth and profitability.
Let’s talk electricity.
In power hungry enterprises like dairies, packing sheds, electric pumps, commercial cool rooms, lots of in house engineering –
This is complex and I really think it is worth engaging an expert in your industry.
The federal government site energy.gov.au has links for individual industries and to the grants available on a state by state basis for things like energy audits. Click here to find out more
In less power hungry enterprises like the typical mixed family farm, electricity costs are lower and reducing them is far simpler –
– Time of use meters can often reduce energy costs without reducing energy consumption. If you have a time of use meter, just make sure you are being billed accordingly. They need to be installed by an electrician and I would suggest that this is the first phone call you make to investigate this further. Basically you get charged lower off peak power rates for all of your off peak usage, not just hot water.
– Get quotes for alternative electricity suppliers, or just ask your current provider to sharpen their pencil. Set a date to do this once every year or two. If you have multiple accounts I suggest putting the details in a spreadsheet to keep track of what account is what name.
– Pensioners are eligible for discounts, some as rebates and some direct through the electricity supplier. You may have an older generation or retired workers living on farm. If they have seniors card, are on a pension check out https://selectra.com.au/energy/guides/rebate/senior-rebate for more info. I would suggest calling your electricity provider in NSW, though it is not recommended there as some discounts are handled directly via the energy retailer.
– Set up auto billing for electricity. Saves time and often attracts a discount.
– Check out the great little MDF squares we had cut to fit in the air-con vents below. Great for drafty old farm houses. They make a really big difference to how warm it is.
Was my dear old Dad right about the dryer?
A few years ago I borrowed a Save Power Kit from my local library. This sort of thing https://www.alburycity.nsw.gov.au/environment/sustainability/sustainable-households/our-initiatives/save-power-kit. It has a little device you can plug in to see how much an appliance is costing you. The old fridge in the garage to hold a few beers was killing us at hundreds of dollars a year. Surprisingly the couple of loads we put through the dryer a week through the winter amounted to much less. My Dad gave me the distinct impression that using the dryer would result in unprecedented levels of inter generational poverty. Bloody hell Dad!, it costs me about 50c a load. Chuck a few loads in the dryer and spend the time more productively chasing up some electricity quotes.