Australian businesses consume a lot of electricity; 154,439 gigawatt-hours per year to be precise, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, at a cost of around $20.2 billion. 
Understanding electricity usage in your business is an important part of keeping costs down, as well as doing your bit for the environment.
We’ve prepared this simple guide to help you take control.
How is electricity consumption measured?
Electricity consumption is measured and charged in terms of cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh).
For example, say a standard 21-inch LCD monitor uses 50 watts of electricity per hour; over an eight-hour day it would consume 400 watts of electricity, or 0.4 kWh, which would be charged at your applicable cents per kWh rate.
Making sense of your electricity bill
Now you know how electricity is measured and charged, you’re in a better position to make sense of your electricity bill.
Your bill shows how much electricity your business has consumed in terms of kWh during the relevant period, the cost per kWh and the supply charge you pay to receive electricity.
Depending on your electricity plan and meter, you may also find your consumption is divided into peak, off-peak and shoulder rates.
Peak rates are typically more expensive as they are charged during busy periods when strain on the electricity network is highest in your area.
Off-peak rates are cheaper and charged when businesses and homes are using less electricity, usually at night and on weekends. Shoulder rates are charged between peak and off-peak periods.
Electricity saving initiatives
Simple strategies to take control of electricity in your business can lead to big savings.
For example, switching off power hungry equipment when not in use rather than leaving it in standby mode, installing energy efficient lighting and regulating heating and air conditioning are all effective ways to reduce consumption.
Investing in renewable energy options such as solar power can be another way to reduce energy consumption in your business, as well as boost your green credentials.
And with flexible solutions to suit a diverse range of businesses, renewable energy solutions are more accessible than ever.