Five steps to drive energy productivity and create new value in your business

Five steps to drive energy productivity and create new value in your business
01 Jun 2015Archived News Nathan Rosaguti Climate Change Matters

Energy costs as a proportion of operating costs among large energy users varies significantly, and continuing efforts to reduce energy costs are likely to be concentrated in those businesses with greatest energy intensity. Energy productivity as a mitigating measure against rising energy costs should be component of any large business’ risk management strategy.

There is a new drive to improve energy productivity across Australian industry as a source of competitive advantage.  The government's Energy White Paper released in April identified energy productivity as one of its major themes. 


The Energy White Paper released 8 April 2015, stated that, "A national improvement target of up to 40 per cent by 2030 is possible" in energy productivity. 

Energetics encourages businesses to undertake the following steps to ensure that the gains made under previous improvement programs (including EEO) are not lost, but selectively built upon to enhance value, improve energy productivity and demonstrate operational excellence.

1. Review progress made in recent years on energy efficiency

Before establishing the future of energy management for your business, it is useful to understand how far you have come.  How much have your efforts to become more energy efficient improved your business? Can the value be established?  How does your improvement compare to improvements made by your competitors?

Energetics continues to observe significant deficiencies in the quality of energy consumption data on which to base decisions.  Does your business have access to enough quality information and data to both find opportunities and to evaluate them following implementation?  Could this be improved?
Consider the aspects of your energy improvement program that have contributed to successful outcomes and those that have impeded progress.  Were there barriers that prevented the successful identification, evaluation and implementation of energy improvement opportunities?  If so, were they overcome, and how?

2. Review energy price risk going forward

As well as looking at progress made, consider your risks going forward.  With increasing energy costs predicted over coming years, have you got an accurate range of forecasts that inform your energy price risk exposure?
Given increasing prices, is this an area you can afford to take your eyes off?

3. Establish fresh objectives to improve energy use

On the basis of both a review of progress and an assessment of future risk exposure, what objectives will your business establish in relation to energy cost reduction and carbon abatement?

Energetics recommends the development of a specific agenda for improving energy productivity in your business to reduce costs and drive performance improvements, tailoring your approach to meet your unique characteristics.  A comprehensive agenda for improved energy productivity will contain initiatives to manage energy purchase costs, use energy more efficiently, improve throughput, and collect data and measure variables more effectively for improved decision-making.



4. Determine and implement the type of program needed to support your improvement agenda

Consider the value of an ongoing energy management program that meets your needs and objectives.

It may be appropriate for your business to implement the ISO50001 Energy Management Standard to provide the required accountability to continue delivering improvement.  For most companies that were compliant with EEO and certified under ISO14001, this is a relatively small step, and can help to integrate energy management into established business systems.  Alternatively, it may be appropriate to develop an internal program that takes the most valuable parts of EEO and applies them to the business over the longer term.

5. Access funding sources where available
Ensure that funding opportunities are sourced, including the ability for projects to access funding from the Emissions Reduction Fund.

Energetics can assist
The EEO program was responsible for delivering significant energy cost savings over-and-above business as usual by overcoming information, skills and organisational barriers to energy efficiency.  The program introduced or formalised energy improvement efforts at many large energy using companies. 

Energetics encourages EEO participants to take the next steps into energy efficiency and broader energy productivity.  We are currently assisting clients with reviews of their energy efficiency achievements, the risks going forward, and evaluating realistic options to ensure that the momentum built up in recent years is not wasted, but continues to deliver in a way that is specifically appropriate to the client’s business.




Join the conversation