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If your business premises uses fossil fuel gas for heating, cooking, or other purposes, you will need to start thinking about transitioning to efficient electric alternatives when the time is right.Heating and Cooling
Heating and Cooling
Why it’s important
Space heating is the main use of fossil fuel gas in the ACT. You can save money by replacing your business’ gas heating with an efficient all-electric option. This is one of the best steps you can take to make the switch and help the ACT achieve net-zero emissions by 2045.
Installing an efficient electric alternative can be cheaper to run and reduce energy costs. These systems help you maintain a comfortable climate all year round for your clients and staff.
A reverse cycle air conditioner (sometimes called a ‘heat pump’) is a great option for business and commercial spaces. These appliances:
- use significantly less energy than a comparable gas heating system, bringing down running costs.
- provide both heating and cooling using one unit.
- much more efficient than an older air conditioning unit.
- produce no emissions when powered by the ACT’s 100% renewable electricity source or a solar system.
- can require slightly higher upfront costs but ongoing running costs make them cheaper over time.
- come in a range of options including ducted, split systems, bulkhead systems, ceiling cassettes – the most appropriate one for your needs will depend on the size of your space and fit out.
- payback periods can be as little as five years, and even less if also abolishing your gas connection and annual connection fee.
- The Business Energy and Water Program provides advice and of up to $5,000 to upgrade to more efficient products. Eligible small-to-medium businesses can apply.
- The Community Clubs Program provides rebates of up to $75,000 for eligible clubs in the ACT to upgrade to more energy-efficient appliances and energy systems.
Depending on your building, heating and cooling systems may be shared preventing you from making individual changes. Our Business Energy and Water Team can still provide you advice on improving your business sustainability and reducing energy costs.
Why it’s important
Many forklifts run on the fossil fuel gas, LPG; specifically, propane. Choosing an electric forklift decreases your business emissions. It can also reduce the risk of potentially harmful gases in your workplace.
Electric forklifts may be more expensive than their LPG equivalents, but they provide a range of benefits to your business, including:
- creating zero emissions, especially when recharged from the ACT’s 100% renewable electricity supply or your own business solar system.
- cheaper battery recharges from mains power compared to LPG fuel resupplies.
- reduced repair and maintenance costs due to less complex machinery.
- quieter and smoother operation which improves the comfort of operating staff.
- a lack of exhaust fumes makes them well suited for both indoor and outdoor operation.
Why it’s important
Energy-efficient lighting can save money and reduce your business’s energy use. Replacing lighting is often one of the quickest and most affordable ways to improve energy efficiency.
Installing LED lamps wherever possible will increase the efficiency of lighting your business. LEDs have many benefits, including:
- lasting for up to six years of continuous run time.
- using 20-80% less power than fluorescent or halogen lamps.
- radiating less heat than comparable alternatives.
- ability to be dimmed.
- being available in many colours, helping you create a unique look and feel in your business.
Further actions you can take include:
- installing sensors in office and staff areas that turn lights on only when people are present.
- ensuring staff turn off all lights when leaving for the evening.
- The Business Energy and Water Program provides advice and rebates of up to $5,000 to upgrade to more efficient products. Eligible small-to-medium businesses can apply.
- The Lighting Efficiency Webtool has been designed to help you check the efficiency of your business lighting setup and suggests possible upgrades in just a few simple steps.
Solar and batteries
Why it’s important
If your business mainly operates during the day; you can reduce your electricity costs with an appropriately sized rooftop solar system. This can support your:
- heating and cooling systems,
- hot water,
- computers, and
- other equipment.
Rooftop solar systems are available in many sizes depending on your business energy needs. They allow you to harness renewable electricity directly for your business and electric appliances. Solar provides many benefits including:
- being available in many sizes.
- small payback periods, between 3-5 years for businesses that primarily operate during the day.
- excess electricity generated can be sold back into the energy grid, further lowering your bills.
A battery storage system allows you to store excess electricity from your solar system to use at night or in an emergency power outage, depending on system specifications. They can also be beneficial in managing peak energy needs by charging up the battery when electricity rates are cheaper and powering your business during peak, more expensive times.
- The Solar for Business Program provides free, expert advice to ACT businesses looking to adopt solar energy.
- The Next Gen Energy Storage Program provides rebates of up to $35,000 (excluding GST) or 33% of the battery price (excluding GST) for energy storage systems. This program page also provides a list of approved providers.
- The Clean Energy Council provides a list of local accredited suppliers.
The ACT Government acknowledges viable alternatives for all business and commercial needs may not currently exist. It’s important to remember the electrification pathway is happening gradually over the next twenty years. We will keep this hub updated to support business’ to make the switch when the time is right.
You can also register your interest to participate in forums or workshops on the electrification pathway, by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.