Manage A Medical Clinic Effectively By Saving On Operational Costs

If you are a doctor looking to start your own practice, you will probably realise it takes more than excellent medical skills to begin. Starting a clinic is no different from starting a business from scratch and with that comes the need for management and operational skills.

At the core of starting your own clinic is the ability to manage costs and keep it running efficiently that keeps your patients happy, builds a good reputation of your practice and ensures you are clocking in a good profit.

In this article, we will go through the top 5 ways to effectively manage your medical while controlling your monthly operational costs for that much-needed savings!

1. Utilise Single-Use Medical Equipment

One of the key expectations of any medical clinic is sterility in all of the instruments used. All clinics should seek to, wherever possible, to utilise single-use equipment that will help drastically reduce any risk of cross-contamination from procedures such as blood tests and minor surgeries.

Disposable instruments also remove the need for any repair and servicing helping to save thousands of dollars while allowing doctors and their staff to save valuable time during procedures.

2. Efficient Pre-Registration Software

One of the most time-consuming but essential aspects of running any clinic is registering patients. If you are beginning a new clinic, most of your business will probably come from walk-in patients who will register their details on the spot, but what if business increases or you decide to have an online presence?

Ensuring a smooth flow of patients from registration to the consultation is key to maximise your time every single day, after all, two additional patients a day could add up to 60 patients worth of business in a single month!

Investing in a pre-registration is key, especially if you are looking to have an online presence. This will allow prospective patients to immediately fill in their own details before even stepping into the clinic, allowing your staff to review and verify their information beforehand.

3. Post Patient Rooming and Discharge Protocols

Having a clear and efficient patient rooming and discharge protocols in every patient room helps to ensure the smooth flow of patients.

Protocols are set-rules laid down by the doctor and administrators of the clinic to ensure every staff member will be well aware of the purpose of each room, the procedures to be conducted inside and where the patient will be heading to after usage.

4. Verify Patient’s Insurance

While many patients have insurance, not all have the exact coverage necessary for their specific diagnosis and treatment. This makes verifying patient’s insurance information before an appointment rather important to help reduce waiting time and increase the consultation time between the patient and the doctor.

Doing this is rather easy, if you have a pre-registration software, you can instruct patients to upload scanned photocopies of their insurance cards or email them to your clinic before arriving.

5. Save on your Electricity Bills

From medical equipment to lightings and office equipment, running a medical clinic is more energy intensive then you might think.

Every clinic is unique and its operational hours are largely dictated by the doctors. From weekday only clinics to 24-hour clinics, choosing the right electricity plan is key to saving on this operational expense.

But before you decide and switch away from SP services to an electricity retailer like iSwitch, there are 2 main electricity price plans you need to know first.

The Fixed Price Plan

Business-commercial-corporate-Fixed-Price-electricity-price-plan

Image credit to EMA

This plan allows your medical clinic to secure electricity pricing at a fixed rate for the duration of the contract. This means no matter how high the price of electricity rises in the future, you will still be paying the same rate that you locked in at the start of the contract.

Choosing this plan is ideal if you want absolute price certainty that allows your business for strict budgeting.

The Discount Over Tariff Plan (DOT)

Discount-off-tariff-DOT-business-electricity-graph

Image credit to EMA

The DOT plan allows your medical clinic to secure its electricity supply with guaranteed savings off the SP Tariff. The difference between this plan and the fixed pricing is the variability of your electricity bill.

While you definitely will be locking in savings compared to what you are paying now to Singapore Power, your bill could rise and fall based on the prevailing tariff which is controlled by the oil prices and other factors in the market.

Choosing the DOT plan makes sense if you would like to have a hassle-free type of plan without the need to monitor and making any long-term decisions based on the current price of oil.

At iSwitch, we partner closely with clinics and businesses to secure the best plan suitable for their business operations.

So get in touch with us at save@iswitch.com.sg or learn more about our electricity offerings here.

 

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6 Ways To Save Operations Cost In A Dental Clinic

Running a successful dental clinic goes beyond just providing a top-notch service and booking as many patients as possible in a single day. In fact, the profitability of your clinic could very well come down to the ability to manage and control your operational costs.

In this article, we will go through the top 6 ways to stay profitable by managing those necessary cost needed to keep your dental clinic operational.

Marketing Expenses

Unless you are an established brand or located in a busy and affluent location, marketing will be an on-going expense that can’t be avoided.

Smart dental clinics understand that the world (as well as their customers) are going digital and traditional forms of advertising that include print magazines and the newspapers may no longer function as well anymore. Avenues that include social media advertising and building an online presence that ranks well in search engines is key in reaching your customers.

Your clinic should also seek to push more towards high-ticket services including full teeth whitening and dental implants, allowing you to earn more revenue for the same time investment.

Inventory Costs

Like many medical practices, running a dental clinic will involve a substantial amount of supplies that will be needed, some for daily use and other for the occasional use during complex procedures.

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Forgo the temptation of buying all of your inventory supplies in bulk even though there is a discount. Many items have a use-by-date which could be rather tricky especially if you are running a relatively new clinic without historical knowledge of the type of patients you would get in a typical month.

Opt for smaller purchases at a time, yes you might be paying a little more per item, but you will also prevent useless purchases while encourage your staff to be less wasteful.

Insurance Coverage

Insurance is a big expense when it comes towards running any medical practice. From health insurance to yourself and your staff to patient accident indemnity, ensuring you are signed up with the best plan is key to maximising your coverage needs while minimizing the necessary premium costs.

Common insurance costs includes:

  • Staff Insurance
  • Patient accident indemnity
  • Professional liability insurance
  • Property Insurance
  • Business Interruption insurance

And all these are exclusive of your own health care and insurance needed as a professional yourself!

Employee Salaries

Is each member of your team living up to their full potential? Are there any areas of your clinic that could be automated or made more efficient?

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These are some of the questions to ask yourself to cut down the expenses of unnecessary hiring. Salaries will undoubtedly be one of the highest expense of your practice that will have to be managed and it goes beyond just the cash portion paid out to your employees.

New hires will require valuable time to be on-boarded as well as other job perks and health insurance will have to be added on. Smart investments such as a pre-registration software can be utilised to not only improve the workflow in your clinic but also reduce any unnecessary expenses.

Property Lease

Perhaps the most important contract you will ever sign in your business, your dental office lease agreement will determine how fast (or if ever) you will make a profit in your business. A good negotiation on your lease will provide you with protection, flexibility at a competitive cost that will allow you to safeguard your livelihood while giving you a good opportunity to turn a healthy profit.

You should always determine:

  • If you are getting fair market value for the size and location of the premises.
  • If there is location protection to prevent your landlord from uprooting your clinic during the lease term, ensuring you have no business downtime.
  • If you protected from your landlord bringing other competing dental clinics into the building or shopping centre.
  • If there is a ‘death & disability’ protection in the event you cannot work, helping to prevent saddling your family or estate from an unexpected financial burden.

Choosing The Ideal Electricity Plan

No two dental clinics are the same and their electricity supply plan shouldn’t be either! From big clinics in megamalls to smaller heartland practices, choosing the right plan is key to helping save on your monthly electric bill.

But before you decide and switch away from SP services to a retailer, there are 2 main electricity price plans you need to know first.

The Fixed Price Plan

Business-commercial-corporate-Fixed-Price-electricity-price-plan

Image credit to EMA

This plan allows your dental clinic to secure electricity pricing at a fixed rate for the duration of the contract. This means no matter how high the price of electricity rises in the future, you will still be paying the same rate that you locked in at the start of the contract.

Choosing this plan is ideal if you want absolute price certainty that allows your clinic for strict budgeting.

The Discount Over Tariff Plan (DOT)

Discount-off-tariff-DOT-business-electricity-graph

Image credit to EMA

The DOT plan allows your dental clinic to secure its electricity supply with guaranteed savings off the SP Tariff. The difference between this plan and the fixed pricing is the variability of your electricity bill.

While you definitely will be locking in savings compared to what you are paying now to Singapore Power, your bill could rise and fall based on the prevailing tariff. Choosing the DOT plan makes sense if you would like to have a hassle-free type of plan without the need to monitor the oil markets.

At iSwitch Energy, we partner closely with clinics and businesses to secure the best plan suitable for their business operations. So get in touch with us at save@iswitch.com.sg or check out our electricity price plans here.

Open Electricity Market Full Launch: Pay Less With iSwitch!

Have friends living in Jurong bragging about saving on their electric bill month after month?

Don’t worry! Very soon, from this November onwards, you will be able to lock in guaranteed savings on your electric bill too, no matter which part of Singapore that you stay in!

Since 2001, Singapore’s Energy Market Authority has been deregulating the electricity market in phases and since April of this year, residents in Jurong could choose between the different electricity retailers for the best plan in the market that suits their household.

That means locking in guaranteed savings for the last few months and also enjoying incredible perks such as cash vouchers and iPads!

Ok maybe you might have missed out on this but rest assured, your time to benefit is coming. In fact, with the electricity tariff rising by 2.1% in the October to December period this year, switching from SP to a retailer will be your best bet to lock in savings before any potential increase in 2019!

Wondering when it would be your turn? We have you covered!

The Open Electricity Market Roll-Out Phases

Image credit to the Open Electricity Market

Zone 1: West & North-West Singapore (1st November 2018)

Postal Codes starting with 58 – 78

Zone 2: North-East Singapore (1st January 2019)

Postal Codes starting with 53 – 57, 79 – 80 and 82 – 83

Zone 3: East Singapore (1st March 2019)

Postal Codes starting with 34 – 52 and 81

Zone 4: Central & South Singapore (1st May 2019)

Postal Codes starting with 01 – 33

So if you are staying in Bukit Panjang or Yishun, you will be available to switch to a retailer come 1st November this year, while if you stay in Pasir Ris, the wait is a little longer till March 2019.

But besides the obvious cost savings and perks waiting for you, are there more reasons to switch to a retailer?

3 Big Reasons Why You Need To Switch

1. Don’t Leave Money On The Table

If you haven’t switched to a retailer yet, you are paying the full tariff price for your electricity supply. Through a combination of deals in the fuel markets and electricity futures markets, electricity retailers are able to secure electricity supply at a lower price and pass on these cost savings to you!

2. Your Household Needs Are Different

Your household needs are probably going to be different compared to that of your neighbours. From the need to stick to a strict budget to constantly travelling overseas, retailers give you the flexibility to choose the best plan that suits your unique lifestyle.

3. Electricity Prices Might Continue To Increase

For over the last 6 months, electricity prices have been rising mainly due to the increase in oil prices as well. Retailers will give you the option to lock in your electricity supply at a fixed price, allowing you to pay the same rate for the period of the contract no matter how high the tariff rises.

The 2 Electricity Plans You Must Know

Now before you switch to any retailer, you need to know the 2 main type of plans you can select or you won’t be able to maximise your savings!

The Fixed Price Plan

Sticking to a strict budget and looking to secure a price that never moves no matter how high electricity prices might get? Then look no further, the fixed price plan is for you!

This plan allows you to pay for your electricity use at a fixed pre-agreed pricing for the entire duration of your contract. You will not have any bill shocks from your electricity price rate – any increase in your monthly bill just means you are using more electricity lor!

The Discount Off Tariff Plan

Also known as the DOT plan, this allows you to buy electricity in a hassle-free manner. There won’t be a need for you to monitor the oil markets to ‘Chope’ a good long-term pricing and most of us also don’t have the time!

While you will be subjected to the effects of a falling and rising oil price, the DOT plan will allow you to enjoy a guaranteed discount off the tariff rate!

Shiok right!

At iSwitch Energy, we have helped over 2,000 households in Jurong save on their electric bill month after month and we want to do the same for you.

So head over to our website and check out our residential plans (DOT & Fixed Price included) here

Our friendly team looks forward to helping you switch & save!

The First Time HDB Owner’s Guide and How To Save On Your Electricity

So you have gone through the long process of choosing your dream HDB flat, handling your finances and collecting the keys to your BTO flat but the journey hasn’t ended yet.

While you might be feeling like relaxing and taking a mini-holiday, don’t! Ensuring a smooth transition to your new home is just as important to reduce not just stress but your costs as well.

Renovations For Your New Home

The first step to preparing any new home is to decide on the renovations needed. There are mainly two ways to go about it: the first is to do it yourself or to hire an interior designer who can get the job done professionally.

If you decide to do it yourself, think hard about a design theme for your home and center your renovation needs around it – it would be quite jarring for each room to have drastically different designs especially if your flat is on the smaller side.

One key advantage of hiring an interior designer is the overall cost savings and hassle you might avoid in the process. In addition to helping you plan out the entire design layout, your designer could also hook you up the right contractors that have the right expertise to make your renovations a success without burning money away needlessly.

Not bad right!

Selecting Furniture & Appliances

Perhaps the most fun part of preparing your new home, shopping! From various megastores such as GainCity to boutique furniture outlets, choosing the right furniture is paramount in ensuring a highly livable environment for both your family and guests.

Because selecting your furniture will likely be an on-going process for weeks and even months, getting the basics will be a good start:

  • Your living room couch, the dining table & chairs
  • The kitchen cabinets, countertops, cooking hobs, refrigerator and utensils
  • Bed frames, Mattresses & room dressers
  • Television, Air-conditioning & Washing Machine

While it might be tempting to get all your items at one go, it might prove to be rather stressful, so split up your shopping adventure over a longer time period. Hey, your friends might even surprise you with a blender or an air purifier during your housewarming party, you never know!

Remember to get your floor plan from the HDB before you even head to the stores to ensure your dream furniture can fit into the rooms and if they can even fit into the elevators!

Packing For The Move

Perhaps the most stressful of your new home preparation, the first step here is to prepare an inventory of your current items and existing furniture and gathering the right size boxes to store them in.

One of the most important steps, but often forgotten, is the need to clearly label each of those boxes in a manner that is very clear to you where each of them will go and what items each will contain.

Getting The Movers

Unless you have lots of friends driving trucks, chances are you will need to hire a mover. If you have done the steps previously, this step will be relatively straightforward since all your belongings will be boxed up and new furniture purchased can be directly delivered to your new flat.

When it comes to choosing your mover, always check with at least three to four companies to get an accurate quote in a black and white invoice. A rough gauge to remember for deliveries is about $250 for one trip in a 10-foot covered truck or $400-$500 for a 15-foot covered truck.

Choosing Your Electricity Retailer

The next natural step would be to set up your utility services and more specifically secure your electricity supply – you can’t be living in darkness right?

Setting it up is easy. All you need to do is to first set up and activate your Singapore Power Services account which will take between 1 to 3 days. This set up will also require a security deposit that will range between S$40 and S$300 depending on the type of BTO flat purchased.

Once that is done, all you need to do is to choose your preferred electricity retailer to start locking in guaranteed savings off the SP tariff or choose fixed pricing plans to ensure a constant fixed rate for your electricity supply.

In the case of iSwitch Energy, all you need to do is to visit our page here to choose your preferred plan and we will take care of the rest.

Combine Your Appliance Shopping With Your Electricity Plan & Save Even More

As the exclusive BTO partner of Gain City, we have bundled for you our cost-effective solutions with the essential home appliances you love.

If you are a new homeowner, all you need to do is to purchase any air-conditioner from Gain City & sign-up with iSwitch Energy as your home electricity provider to receive a $200 Gain City voucher. In addition, you will also enjoy a 5% discount Off SP Services Tariff plus One Month Free electricity for your home when you signup for a 36-month contract term!

Ready? Steady? Go here and find out more click here

DOT-Fixed-How-to-choose-Price-Electricity-Business-Plans

Choosing The Right Electricity Plan For Your Business

Electricity bill typically forms 5% to 20% of business cost depending on the nature of operation. Business owners are constantly looking to maximise savings. However, there are a myriad of price plans offered in market that might feel a little overwhelming. So how do you choose the right plan for your business?

The most popular electricity price plans will fall into the following 2 types:

  • Discount Off Tariff Plan (DOT)
  • Fixed Price Plan

Discount Off Tariff Plan (DOT)

Discount-off-tariff-DOT-business-electricity-graph

Image credit to EMA

The SP Services Tariff changes every quarter in accordance with the underlying oil price movement. This is set using an established methodology. What you get is a certain guaranteed percentage to SP Tariff regardless whether it goes up or down for the quarter.

Pros:

DOT is popular with SMEs and most businesses as they know they enjoy the guaranteed discount savings to SP Tariff benchmark that accounts for market adjustment. This also takes away the need to worry about locking into long term electricity contract, as you would naturally enjoy upside and downside of the price movements, with the added comfort of guaranteed discount.

Cons:

Your electricity cost will be subject to the effects of rising and falling oil prices on a quarterly basis. This means there might be times you could be paying more than if had opted for the fixed price plan.

Fixed Price Plan

Business-commercial-corporate-Fixed-Price-electricity-price-plan

Image credit to EMA

As the name suggests, you pay the same electricity rate for entire duration of the contract.

Pros:

By fixing the price, you can project your annual electricity budget with confidence. This will help improve your cash flow planning. Fixed Price Plan protects businesses from potential bill shocks due to the inherently volatile electricity market. Electricity prices are co-related to oil market which provide the raw material for power generation.

Cons:

Fixing the rate means that you forgo the savings if the electricity market prices reduce during contract term. The next consideration is the tenor of your electricity contract. Fixing for a long tenor of 2 years or more, means that you may have locked onto a higher price, especially when the market prices drop, which reduces your cost edge compared your competitors.

iSwitch is here to help

Weather you choose DOT or  Fixed, iSwitch is committed to provide you with rates to stretch your savings and a dedicated sales team to make your switch hassle free. As one of the leading electricity retailers in Singapore, we have a track record of serving more than 1,000 businesses enjoy significant savings on electricity.

Drop us a call at 6505 9963 or email us at save@iswitch.com.sg and we will be more than happy to help!

 

 

Singapore Universities Are Going Green – See How We Stack Up Against The Greenest Around The World!

We have probably heard of companies and housing estates caring for the environment by going green, but did you know that universities are gearing up to become one of the most environmentally friendly institutions around?

But first, what does it mean to go green and why are so many universities globally committed to continuous environmental improvement and protection?

What It Means To Go Green

Because universities go beyond just buildings, going green means involving the entire campus including parks, green spaces and even the students. To go green, a campus will have to create structures that are not just environmentally responsible, but also ensure a resource-efficient campus throughout its operation.

From generating its own electricity, attaining carbon neutrality as well as the conservation of water, building green campuses aren’t exactly easy but the following campuses we are about to showcase will prove that when there is a will, there’s a way!

The Benefits Are Clear

While going green definitely takes some effort, the benefits are quite attractive to universities.

The first is rather obvious – in the long term, universities can save on their energy costs. Part of going green is the shift towards renewable energies such as solar power. This shift alone helps campuses to be self-sufficient in their energy needs without any additional need to buy energy from the grid.

The second is perhaps the main reason why campuses go green – to attract more students and to enhance their brand. As millennials and prospective students become more environmentally conscious, universities are racing with each other to develop campuses that are not just beautiful but environmentally sustainable as well.

Here are a few of the top universities in the world that have gone green plus two of our very own institutions in Singapore!

Brown University, United States

While currently ranked 53rd in the world, Brown University is an Ivy league institution in the USA that is committed to sustainability. With their ‘Brown is Green’ initiative, the university has been taking steps to minimise the campus’s energy use and reduce their negative environmental impacts.

As a result, in just 9 years, Brown reduced their energy-related carbon footprint to 27.4 percent below the 2007 levels.

Oxford University, United Kingdom

As one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious universities, Oxford has developed a comprehensive policy for environmental sustainability.

A few of their sustainability plans include undertaking energy audits for all their buildings and the improvisation of running and cycling facilities. Today, the campus is well on their way to reduce carbon emissions by 33% till the year 2021 as compared to the levels in 2005 and 2006.

The university also provides students interest-free loans to buy bicycles as well as discounts on public transportation services.

Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore

With an estimated completion date in 2021, NTU’s $180 million business school will be built out of wood from renewable forests.

In addition, the University has outlined plans to reduce energy, water and waste intensity by 35% in 2021 while doubling their solar energy capacity to power up to 10% of their campus electricity needs.

Singapore Management University (SMU), Singapore

As a premier university in Singapore, SMU recently embarked on the construction of a new $70 million green building that will be first on-site net-zero energy building in the Singapore city centre. This means it will be 100% self-sustainable as the building will generate its own energy.

Together with green features that include dimmable LED lights and advanced AI building control system, the building seeks to limit energy usage with an aim to save over 500 MW-hours of electricity a year.

Going green doesn’t just have to be limited to big university campuses. Many colleges and pre-tertiary institutions are beginning to consider sustainability in the way they design and operate their buildings as well.

Take Singapore’s Dulwich College, located in Bukit Batok, this international school has embraced going green. Together with us in iSwitch, the school has converted to 100% carbon neutral electricity. That change alone is the equivalent carbon offset of planting more than 35,000 trees!

Interested in going green? Then the iSwitch2Green plan is right for you!

This plan allows you to offset your carbon emissions created by electricity consumption, through purchasing UN Certified Carbon Credits via an electricity contract with iSwitch.

You can learn more about our iSwitch2Green plan here: https://iswitch.com.sg/commercial/

Discover The Greenest Countries In The World! – Going 100% Green

When we think of renewable energy, it is very common to believe that it contributes to less than 20% of a country’s electricity generation and for the most case you would be right!

In the United States, renewable energy in 2016 accounted for only 14.94% of their electricity produced while in Singapore, more than 90% of our electricity is generated from natural gas alone which is a fossil fuel.

While it might be easy to think that renewable energy isn’t being taken seriously, many countries in the world are actually depending fully on renewable sources that include solar, geothermal and wind energy to generate electricity for their needs. Steady right?

In this article, we will bring you through 3 countries and how they are harnessing the power of renewable energy to not only power their nations but also protect the environment.

Iceland, Europe

Often called ‘the land of fire and ice’, Iceland is a model country when it comes to utilising renewable energy for their population of almost 340,000 people. Essentially built around a string of volcanoes, Iceland has access to geothermal energy that heats up 9 out of 10 houses.

But that doesn’t mean they just rely on geothermal power. In fact, in 2015, 73% of their renewable energy came from hydropower and that is only a fraction of its untapped potential!

Today, Iceland is the world’s largest green energy producer per capita and the largest electricity generator per capita, with almost 55,5000 kWh per person per year – that is almost 9 times more than their EU neighbours!

Albania, Europe

Another European country, Albania is home to almost 3 million people and it is rather impressive that their energy comes from 100% renewable resources, in fact, there have been years where Albania had been a net exporter of electricity – essentially selling their own electricity to neighbouring countries!

Really ah? How is that even possible for such a large population?
While Albania has a diversified portfolio of energy sources that include biomass, wind, geothermal and solar energy, more than 90% of their energy comes from hydroelectric power.

Albania is a mountainous nation and is home to 8 major river systems. The Drin river, located in northern Albania, is the nation’s largest river and by itself, powers 3 hydroelectric stations which accounts for almost 90% of their domestic electricity production.

While this itself is impressive, Albania is still taking steps to secure their energy future. Relying too much on hydroelectric power might be disastrous if a drought or a prolonged dry season happens. The country has set a goal to double their solar energy product from 50 MW to 100 MW.

Paraguay, Latin America

With a population nearing 7 million people, Paraguay is another renewable energy giant where 100% of their electricity needs are met by their three hydroelectric plants that total 8.8GW of capacity.

In fact, in 2016, Paraguay generated 63.7 GWh and only 24% was directed to national consumption while a majority of the rest were exported to countries including Brazil and Argentina.

Energy is so abundant in Paraguay that their consumers are also benefiting from low electricity prices, approximately just US$0.05/kWh.

So how does Singapore stack up amongst these renewable juggernauts? Will we be able to one day be energy-self sufficient from renewable sources?

Singapore – Going Green One Step At A Time

While Singapore does have quite a few natural constraints, such as land size, that is not preventing us from taking steps to not only diversify our energy sources but also help do our part for the environment.

Solar energy is the beating heart of renewable energy here in Singapore and we are moving forward in ensuring our land is maximised for its use. In early 2017, there were almost 1,900 solar PV installations with a total installed capacity of 99.9 MWac.

From the HDB exploring floating solar panels in the open sea to companies and universities going green, the future for green energy in Singapore might not be very far off!

fast-food-restaurant-saving-electricity-cost-singapore

6 Tips On Saving Electricity Running Your Fast Food Business

From big established brands like McDonald’s and KFC to local favorites such as Pastamania, energy use is a big factor that affects the bottom line of any fast-food outlet. When it comes to energy, it is actually a fixed cost that is necessary for the operation of your business unlike variable costs such as labor and ingredients.

If you are running a fast food business, controlling your energy use and taking steps to manage this cost can help your outlet with significant savings every single month, savings that quickly add up.

But before we dive deep into saving electricity, we first need to investigate how exactly is the energy being used in your outlet. In a study done, more than 75% of electricity is used collectively for cooking, cooling, refrigeration and lighting alone.

fast-food-restaurants-electricity-usage

With this in mind, our 6 energy saving tips will be focusing on the areas that will make the most impact for your business without you having to invest a chunk of money to make it happen.

Tip 1: Replace Old & Outdated Kitchen Equipment

If you running a fast food restaurant for several years, it might be wise to take note of the condition and age of your equipment, especially those over 10 years old.

Apart from ensuring the best quality food possible, replacing old kitchen equipment such as fryers and refrigerators will ensure electricity is being used in the most optimal condition without any unnecessary wastage.

In fact, high-efficiency cooking equipment can be up to 30% more energy efficient versus standard equipment while using gas-fired equipment can help save energy costs for your commercial kitchen in the long run.

Tip 2: Proper Refrigeration Management

Unlike dine-in restaurants that focus on serving fresh produce and the ‘catch of the day’, fast food outlets relies more on frozen food and that requires keeping the ingredients cool at all times.

You can take measures such as following the correct defrost procedure once a month set out in your appliance instructions, helping to not only save energy but also extend the life of the appliance.

Avoid overcooling your food by storing them at the correct temperature. For every additional 1 degrees celsius you cool, you could be increasing your energy usage in your refrigeration unit by up to 4%.

Most food items will have instructions on their recommended refrigeration temperature so group the items that have similar storage temperatures together and ensure you don’t waste energy.

Tip 3: Use Hot Water Wisely

From serving hot tea to serving cleaning stubborn stains, all fast food restaurants rely on hot water in their daily operations.

It isn’t really necessary for your hot water to be supplied at exactly a boiling hot 100oC. In fact, it might lead to unnecessary accidents with customers and kitchen staff alike! Instead, just 60oC would be ideal for both customer and staff use while still being capable of killing harmful bacteria including Legionella.

A great way to mitigate that and excessive energy use is to set a maximum water temperature through tap controls in the kitchen. This will not only help regulate the temperature to a set maximum of your choosing but also stop the flow automatically after a period of time – preventing any additional energy going into unnecessary water heating.

Tip 4: Maximise Your Lightings

Saving on your lighting energy might seem a little tricky, after all, you don’t want to affect your customer’s experience, comfort and even safety. A great way to accomplish this is by implementing efficient lighting controls and technologies.

A simple yet effective way is to install LED lightings throughout your premises. This switch alone will allow you to save up to 75% on lighting electricity costs!

Another way is to instill a ‘switch-off’ policy amongst all staff members. This will help ensure all lightings (and other equipment) are turned off after a certain timing to reduce any wastage of energy from employee negligence. You can even incentivise employees to keep this discipline by not only reminding them of the environmental benefits but also distribute a portion of the cost savings directly into their salaries (which should do the trick!).

Tip 5: Cleaning & Maintenance

Having a fixed maintenance schedule is key to conserving energy. Here are 2 key appliances to check on a monthly basis to reduce energy wastage:

  1. Your Air Conditioning

Especially in hot and humid Singapore, your aircon will probably be on full blast throughout the whole working day and ensuring it is in tip-top condition is key for energy conservation. Checking the filters regularly will not only help improve air quality for your customers but also prevent your air-conditioner from working over-time and using excessive electricity.

  1. Inspect Your Refrigerator Doors

Poorly maintained refrigerator doors can leak cool air, this will cause your condenser to work harder to maintain the proper temperature. For walk-in refrigerators and freezers, you can also install strip curtains to prevent any warm air infiltration by as much as 75%!

Tip 6: Choosing The Right Electricity Retailer

While conserving energy and maximising your equipment is essential, choosing the right energy retailer will determine if you ultimately pay more or save more on your electric bill.

Electricity is one fixed cost that could fluctuate heavily, especially during busy seasons, and paying less for your electricity outright helps to immediately lock in savings month after month and year after year. The right electricity retailer will help guide you to a plan that best suits your restaurant’s operation. From fixed price plans to Discount off tariff (DOT) plans, you could be enjoying up to 25% off your electric bill!

Making a green statement for your fast-food chain? With the rise of environmentally conscious customers, the right retailer will allow your outlets to go green via carbon-neutral electricity. This choice will not only help the environment but also elevate your brand image as an advocate of going green.

Looking for a reliable and stable electricity retailer in? We can help. As a licensed electricity retailer in Singapore, we can assist your restaurant in selecting the best electricity plan for your energy needs.

So drop us call at 1800 505 9900 or visit our website and learn more about our electricity plans today!

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The Green Trend: Companies Implementing Green Energy

From luxury hotels to technology giants, companies big and small are increasingly implementing green energy in their everyday operations.

While each company has their own strategy to go green that centres around reducing emissions, generating clean electricity and buying renewable energy, the end goal is often similar – protecting the environment and increasing their bottom-line.

Today, corporations globally have access to a wide variety of sustainability solutions and the race is on for companies to become green stewards in their respective industry.

Siemens – Reducing Carbon Emissions To Make More Money

A shining example in the manufacturing and automation industry, Siemens announced back in 2015 their plan to spend almost US$110 million lower their company’s emissions.

With a roadmap to reduce their carbon emissions in half by 2020 and become carbon neutral by 2030, their move to implement green measures isn’t just motivated by sustainability alone, but also the potential of between $20 million to $30 million in annual cost savings.

In order to achieve their ambitious goals, Siemens plans to turn their entire worldwide fleet of 45,000 cars and 50,000 trucks into greener vehicles while investing in energy-efficient manufacturing technologies to outfit their factories with.

Walmart – A Giant Believer In Solar Energy

As one of America’s biggest supermarket and retail chains, Walmart has an enormous physical presence throughout the entire United States and with that comes a huge amount of land and space. The world’s biggest retailer boasts 145 MW of installed solar capacity throughout their stores and facilities.

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While this only represents less than 5% of their electricity needs in America, Walmart has announced ambitious sustainability goals with multiple targets that include becoming 100% powered by renewable energy, a reduction in their greenhouse emissions and slashing their overall energy usage by 20%.

Google – Buying Clean Energy To Meet Their Sustainability Goals

As one of the largest tech companies globally, Google’s route to implementing green energy lies in purchasing it. Google was one of the first few corporations to create large-scale, long-term contracts to buy renewable energy directly wholesale from developers through power purchase agreements (PPAs).

As a testament to their early adoption in buying green power, Google has reached 100% renewable energy for their global operations including both their offices and data centres. Google is the largest corporate renewable energy purchaser on the planet.

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The total amount of green energy purchased? A whopping 2,600 megawatts comprised of wind and solar power sources.

In Google’s view, this is not just good for the climate change but also a sound business decision. Over the last 6 years, the cost of wind and solar energy came down by 60% and 80% respectively, helping Google with generous cost savings.

Going Green Goes Beyond Cost Savings

While cost savings is a key incentive for corporations to go green, the long-term benefits go beyond just that.

Companies can become a green thought leader, enhancing their brand image – Take Dell, for example, their commitment to going green has led them to investing in big data and analytics technology to reduce energy consumption in their facilities.

Dell’s vice chairman of operations, Jeff Clarke, highlighted that by reducing carbon emissions and running environmentally-focused programs, Dell is well positioned not only to customers but also the new incoming environmentally conscious millennial workforce.

By topping the charts of the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Green Power Partnership National Top 100 list, Intel has positioned themselves for changing government policies that favor and require energy efficient equipment.

As Intel puts it themselves, ‘Those requirements, in turn, will create a strong preference for more efficient electronic equipment.’

Looking to go green in Singapore?

At the core of every sustainability plan is how a company plans to obtain their renewable energy. In Singapore, one of the more popular methods is to install solar panels to generate clean electricity, however, this might not be practical to many businesses and the amount of energy generated this way is often far from sufficient.

Thankfully there is a better way and at iSwitch, we can help!

We have been helping businesses like Singapore’s Dulwich College convert to 100% carbon neutral electricity, through our iSwitch2Green plan. With this plan, your organisation will not only enjoy 100% carbon neutral electricity (no net greenhouse emissions or carbon footprint) but also enjoy guaranteed savings off the SP Tariff.

Drop us call at 1800 505 9900 or visit our website and check out our iSwitch2Green plan today!

 

7 Energy Hacks To Save On Your Electricity Bill & Still Stay Comfortable!

It’s 2018 and everything seems to be getting more expensive, even our electricity bill! From the rising price of oil to inflation, the electricity tariff seems to be constantly rising, causing your bill to gradually creep up.

Don’t worry la, we are here to help! We have compiled 7 energy hacks you can use to lower your energy bill while still staying comfortable in hot and humid Singapore.

1. Buy Energy Efficient Home Appliances

When it comes to shopping for appliances such as refrigerators, air-conditioners and lamps, we might be tempted to directly go for the cheaper options but is that the wisest choice?

Because these appliances are used so frequently, it might be better to purchase one that is slightly more expensive but consumes lesser energy over time. In the environment today of ever-rising electricity prices, this change alone could add up substantially in cost savings.

Thankfully, the National Environment Agency (NEA) came out with a tick system that helps us identify appliances that are energy efficient. Look for the green tick label below when you go shopping!

The higher the number of ticks, the more energy efficient the appliance is and the more electricity you will save using it compared to one that has fewer or no ticks at all.

2. Change Your Lights To LED

While the traditional incandescent light bulbs might provide that nice warm glow to your rooms, LED bulbs actually consume up to 75% less energy while lasting 25 times longer than incandescent lighting!

Talk about value and savings everywhere! If you are a night owl and your house is brightly lit during the evenings, this change alone could cut down a huge chunk off your electric bill.

3. Maximise Your Aircon Use – Don’t Turn It to Full Blast!

What is the first thing many of us when we reach home after a hot sweaty day? Turn on the aircon to full blast of course!

While that might help to quickly cool down your room, it is one of the fastest ways to guzzle up electricity as well causing you to jump in fright when your monthly electric bills arrive.

Try this instead: Do turn on your aircon up a few degrees above than what you are used to. Then you use a fan for the next 2 to three minutes. This will help to evenly distribute the cool air coming from your air-con, allowing you to quickly cool the entire room without using excessive amounts of electricity.

4. Practice Good Refrigerator Habits

Sure, while it is definitely important to keep your fridge door closed at all times, that isn’t what this energy hack is about.

Is your fridge constantly stocked up with food and drinks or is it half empty most of the time? By keeping your fridge fully stocked, this will allow it to regulate its temperatures more efficiently.

Not enough food to fill it up? Simple, just use jugs or bottles of water as substitutes to get the job done!

5. Reduce Sources Of Sunlight

Now, unless you are admiring the beautiful night sky, having direct sunlight shine through your windows can actually cause a heating effect in your home. This lowers the effectiveness of your aircon, causing it to work overtime to cool down your rooms.

A great way to do this is to utilise the right curtains or blinds to keep the sunlight out and the cool air in.

6. Use Cold Water To Wash Your Clothes

If you have been regularly washing your clothes with warm water, it might be time to stop, especially when you can save up to 90% of the energy used to operate the washing machine!

7. Turn Off Your Appliances At Night

From computers to televisions and even your wifi router, leaving them on standby actually continues to consume energy throughout the day.

A better method would be to directly off your power point or power strips where your devices are connected to. This will ensure there will be no wastage of electricity when your devices are at rest, especially when you are resting for the night.

Looking to save even more money off your electric bill? If you still buying electricity from Singapore Power (SP), it’s time to switch!

Go here: https://iswitch.com.sg/residential/ to discover great plans for your home electricity needs and lock in guaranteed savings all year round!