Skip to content

Energy management for SMEs

Main SME image

Are you a member of your organisation’s green team? A passionate environmentalist? Or an employee who simply wants to help your company save money?

Perhaps you are looking for ways your company can reduce costs, boost productivity, reduce greenhouse gas emissions or build a more socially responsible brand?

Whatever the case, there are lots of pluses to helping your company become more energy efficient.

But, to make change you’ll need to get others on board. In this section, we’ll take you step by step through the process of building a business case for energy efficiency.

We’ll help you figure out:

Also see Writing tips: How to write a compelling business case.

The end result? A business case that will move smoothly through any required approval channels, and persuade others that energy efficiency is smart business.

See below for case studies and resources from SMEs across various sectors.


  • Two men standing in a field with cows

    Agriculture - general

    Farms are major users of energy; however, direct actions by farmers can help reduce energy expenses as a proportion of the overall farm budget.
  • Cotton being harvested


    Electricity and diesel can account for up to 50% of grower's total input costs. By becoming more energy efficient growers can improve their profitability.
  • Man standing at fence with cows in background


    Dairy Australia has developed advice on how to reduce energy consumption on dairy farms to improve energy efficiency and save farmers money.
  • Apples on production line


    On average fruit businesses can save $16 300 per year from cost effective upgrades with a payback period of six years or less.
  • Field of crops


    Improved irrigation efficiency can increase grower returns through reduced irrigation costs and also, potentially, higher yields.
  • Harvesting grapes


    Refrigeration and tank storage account for 50–70% of energy consumption in a winery. By improving energy efficiency in these areas, wineries can save on their energy bills.

Business services

  • Interior of an office

    Office tenants

    Choosing and managing an energy efficient office can result in significant financial savings for businesses.
  • Truck in the evening with lights on

    Supply chain and logistics

    Improving the energy efficiency of transport operations and warehouses can result in a more profitable and competitive business.

Manufacturing – small business

  • Two people talking in an automotive business


    By improving energy management, automotive businesses can reduce energy and operational costs, extend equipment life and reduce maintenance regimes.
  • Chemicals manufacturing equipment

    Chemicals and plastics

    By improving energy efficiency, chemicals and plastics manufacturing businesses can become more profitable and competitive.
  • Man in fluro vest checking machine

    Food manufacturing

    Energy costs account for at least 15% of total operational costs of a food business, which means becoming more energy efficient is critical to becoming profitable and competitive.
  • Person using a metal grinder


    Energy efficiency improvements are important to the future competitiveness of the industry nationally, with energy costs comprising up to 15% of a foundry’s total operational costs.
  • Man working on large pipes

    Manufacturing - general

    The manufacturing industry is the largest end-user of energy. There is a range of ways that manufacturing businesses can reduce their energy use and save money.
  • Cows eating from troughs

    Meat industry

    In a high volume low margin business like meat processing, keeping energy costs under control has been essential to long-term sustainability.

Social and community services

  • Two people talking over a counter

    Adult and community education

    Energy costs can be a major expense for adult and community education. Implementing simple, low or no cost energy efficiency upgrades can reduce operating expenses.
  • Exterior of a community organisation building

    Community organisations

    By implementing energy efficiency initiatives, community organisations can save 15–20% on their energy costs.
  • Interior of a cathedral

    Places of worship

    By reducing energy use in your place of worship, you can divert savings to important support services you provide to the community.
  • Sports field with lights on in evening

    Sporting clubs

    By becoming more energy efficient, cash-strapped local sports clubs can save 30% on their energy bills and help keep fees low for their members.

Other services

  • Spotlights at an event


    Tailored, easy-to-understand information has been developed to help entertainment businesses to better identify, manage and reduce their energy costs.
  • Two people talking at a cafe


    Controlling energy costs is an important part of managing a hospitality business. Small energy efficiency improvements can make a big difference to the bottom line.
  • Paintings inside an art gallery

    Museums and galleries

    Taking action to improve energy efficiency can allow museums and galleries to reduce their energy costs and save money, while maintaining visitor comfort and protecting collections.
  • Balcony exterior of residential building at night

    Residential strata

    People living in apartments consume 25% more energy than those living in detached dwellings. Taking energy efficient action can save tens of thousands of dollars.
  • Interior of a shopping centre


    Reducing energy waste can save retailers money, increase productivity and improve resilience.
  • Tourists in city in evening


    For some tourism sectors such as hotels, air conditioning can contribute up to 50% of their overall energy use.
  • Dog at a vet clinic


    Vets can immediately reduce operating expenses and improve profit margins by investing in energy efficient equipment and machinery.
  • Three waste recyling bins

    Culturally and linguistically diverse businesses

    By using information specifically developed for them, CALD businesses will be able make informed decisions about energy efficiency and reduce their operating costs.
Visit for more information on planning, starting and growing your business. The website offers simple and convenient access to government information, forms and services. 

Related EEX content

Business support

Skills and Training