Participants in the pilot of the Energy Efficiency for Small Business Program with Carmel Tebbutt, Minister for Climate Change and the Environment and Verity Firth, Member for Balmain.
There are more than 650,000 small and medium businesses in NSW employing 95 per cent of all workers in the State. Industry and commercial consumption of electricity accounts for 62 per cent of electricity used in NSW.
36 per cent of NSW greenhouse gas emissions in NSW is from electricity generation or use.
The Sustainability Advantage Energy Saver and Energy Efficiency for Small Business programs are part of a $150 million energy efficiency package to help NSW business reduce their carbon emissions, minimise future increases in electricity bills and play their part in protecting the environment.
Sustainability Advantage Energy Saver will provide medium to large businesses with matched funding for energy audits and technical advice to boost the efficient use of electricity.
This initiative builds on the successful Sustainability Advantage Program that has already helped 230 organisations to save close to 6,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases and $1.6 million in electricity bills in an 18 month period to 30 June 2008.
Some of the ways Sustainability Advantage members achieved these savings were through upgrading compressed air, boiler and refrigeration systems and installing new low energy equipment and no cost initiatives such as:
- changing start up and shut down times to reduce electricity usage
- auditing and altering time clocks that control lighting
- maintaining a 'switch off' campaign for lights and equipment.
For example, one company participating in the Sustainability Advantage program, Rheem Australia anticipates a reduction in electricity consumption by 440 megawatt hours, saving $32,000 a year by introducing a computerised system to shut down machines at the end of shifts and when they are idle.
Small businesses will receive funding to maximise energy savings through the Energy Efficiency for Small Business program.
Participating businesses will receive information, advice and matched funding to help them save money through energy efficiency improvements.
This will include financial support for an energy assessment and prioritised Energy Action Plan and up to $5000 in rebates for implementing energy efficient measures in:
- heating, ventilation and air-conditioning
- electric motors
- air compressors
- commercial refrigeration and
Over 70 businesses have received energy assessments and action plans in a pilot of the program which has revealed a high level of potential electricity savings among small business.
A group of retail shops in Cammeray, participating in the pilot program have identified the potential for average savings of more than $300 or 20 per cent of their electricity use a year in lighting improvements alone.
For organisations looking for ways to save money in demanding times, using energy more efficiently is a really easy way to realise savings straight away.
For more information:
- visit the DECC website
- call the Environment Line on 1300 361 967