Starting a sustainable business

Discover some tips and resources to help you start your business sustainably.

Running an energy efficient business is both sustainable and economical. If you are looking at purchasing, starting up or relocating your business in Yarra, this page contains information and resources to help set your business up for sustainability success right from the start.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself when you're selecting a location for your business or taking over an existing business:

Will I be locked into an embedded network?

An embedded network is a private electricity network within a building that contains multiple metered tenancies. This system is managed by an embedded network operator.

These networks are designed to provide end users with cheaper electricity costs however this often results in being locked into long-term contracts and prevents tenants from being able to select and manage their own electricity providers.

If better electricity offers become available or you wish to purchase GreenPower for your business, it will likely be very difficult and/or prohibitively expensive to do so if your premises are part of an embedded network.

Being part of an embedded network isn't something you can negotiate your tenancy out of before signing onto a lease. It's just something to be aware of. 

Can solar be installed at the premises?

Having solar installed at the premises may not be the first thing in mind when purchasing, starting or relocating a business. However, it might be something that could bring value to your business if the premises has ample and unshaded roof space.

Rooftop solar has the potential to drastically reduce your bills, especially if your business predominantly operates during the day when solar is generated.

It is good to know from the outset if your landlord is open to those conversations down the track.

Visit the Solar for Business Program page on Solar Victoria's website for the latest information on rebates available as well as buyers' guides, resources for speaking with your landlord and different financing options. 

Is the landlord willing to switch gas equipment to electric at end of life?

Going all electric enables you to run your business on 100% renewable energy. This could be done by generating your own power through rooftop solar or by purchasing Greenpower through your energy retailer.

Some examples include hot water systems and heating.

Marketing your business as running on 100% renewable energy is a great way to differentiate yourself and stand out from your competitors.

Can I choose a sustainable utilities provider?

When setting up a new electricity account, choose a GreenPower provider. There are a variety of GreenPower retailers that can offer between 10% to 100% renewable electricity sourced from wind and solar.

If you are taking over an existing business, you could save money by using Energy Compare. Energy Compare uses the businesses existing energy usage data to provide the best available retail offer on the market. The website allows you to search electricity, gas and solar tariff offers. They also have a GreenPower filter to exclusively see electricity retail offers containing renewables.

Want to learn more about running a sustainable business?

Sign up to the Yarra Sustainable Business Newsletter to stay up to date with the latest business sustainability news, grants, assistance opportunities and information.

Visit our business sustainability page for more information on creating and running a sustainable business.