Companies in the dark on energy efficiency opportunities

05 Sep 2007Archived News Energetics in the News

PUBLISHED: www.environmentalmanagementnews.net - Jonathan Jutsen, Founder & Executive Director, Energetics Pty Ltd was asked to comment on the progress made to date by businesses in the Federal Government's Energy Efficiency Opportunities program.

 

A leading energy consultant has warned companies are struggling to respond to the Federal Government's Energy Efficiency Opportunities program to report energy use and savings options. Many have inefficient reporting systems and are also burdened by additional state government requirements.

While fundamentally a good idea, Energetics director Jonathan Jutsen said many of the big energy users required to report by the end of the year will find the deadline a challenge.

The Energy Efficiency Opportunities Act came into effect in July 2006 and gave companies nine months to register, then another nine months to submit a report on their energy use and identify where energy savings can be made.

Altogether, 196 companies registered by the end of March, though not without a rush at the end. The organisations, which all used more than 0.5 petajoules of energy during 2005/06, are required to submit an assessment and reporting schedule by December 31.

Jutsen told EMN companies involved in the program stand to save huge amounts of energy, but few have good reporting systems in place as they have never had to break down and separately report energy use before this legislation came into effect.

According to Jutsen, many companies are unprepared for the assessments, and are unaware of how much work it will involve. Some have done little more than register for the program so far.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Industry, Tourism, and Resources (DITR) says they had not tallied the submissions to date but adds there is still plenty of time for companies to lodge their assessment and reporting schedule.

The reporting process is further complicated because there are a number of energy reporting schemes in place at a state government level that companies must also comply with.

Jutsen says the problem arose because the Federal Government has not taken the lead on introducing schemes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions until recently. In Victoria, for example, the largest industrial and commercial consumers of energy and water will be required to assess their use of energy and identify opportunities for energy efficiency under the Environment and Resources Efficiency Plans (EREP) with EPA Victoria from 2008 onwards.

DITR says it has held workshops around Australia to help companies fill in the assessment and reporting schedule template.

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