Mark Davidson, the Managing Director of Tamburlaine Wines, initially thought he had misheard his Environment Manager when an energy audit of the winery's Hunter Valley operations revealed how much money the winery could save each year.
More efficient refrigeration and processing machinery will deliver significant energy and cost savings.
The audit was conducted as part of the Energy Saver Program delivered by the Department of Environment Climate Change and Water NSW, now the Office of Environment and Heritage, Department of Premier and Cabinet (OEH). The audit found that by making some practical, targeted changes to how it uses electricity, Tamburlaine could reduce its annual consumption by more than half. This represents a saving of about 700 megawatt hours, almost 740 tonnes of carbon pollution, and more than $110,000 per year. Better still, the audit predicted that the cost of making the changes would be earned back in savings in less than two years.
Simple changes save power, money and the environment
Mr Davidson says that they have made many of the suggested changes to the winery's operations.
'Making the changes was easy and the consequence for our business is not just feeling better about pumping 740 tonnes less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year, but also what this is worth to our bottom line,' he said.
The major area of savings for Tamburlaine is in refrigeration, which accounts for about 75 per cent of its electricity use. Tamburlaine will save money on refrigeration and enhance its green credentials through simple changes such as running time and thermostat controls, upgrading heat exchangers, pipe work modifications and compressor rack control system improvements.
Tamburlaine is one of 117 businesses throughout NSW currently participating in the Energy Saver Program. The Program offers a subsidised energy audit and free technical support to help businesses measure and understand their energy use, cut power bills and reduce carbon pollution. The audit, conducted by an independent energy specialist, provides a business case with payback periods and a practical implementation plan.
Davidson says the biggest difficulty for many business managers is finding time away from day-to-day matters to investigate changes within their operation. He says the Energy Saver Program was the trigger that allowed Tamburlaine to break some old and wasteful energy habits.
'Getting professionals to look at specific areas of energy use enabled us to make extremely well-informed decisions about where we should invest money to achieve the best return,' Davidson said.
'Every business person knows you've got to have good information to make good decisions. We received a depth of information from OEH which allowed us to make the right decisions for the right reasons.'
'The refrigeration engineer we work with and the energy consultant from OEH said we are not unusual. Like many other businesses, we were spending way too much on energy.
'We now have the chance to save serious money, reduce our carbon footprint, and in our own small way increase our contribution to the fight against global warming. It's a no-brainer,' Davidson concluded.
Find out how your business can benefit and how you can access an energy audit.