Energetics Builds Business Capacity for Energy & Water Management

01 Jul 2006Archived News Energetics in the News

PUBLISHED: FM Magazine. Interview with Tony Cooper, Managing Director, Energetics Pty Ltd. 


State and Federal Australian Governments are setting stricter requirements for business according to the way they manage energy / water and broader sustainability.

Energetics' managing director, Tony Cooper, answers some questions
on how businesses should manage the many requirements.

What are the current trends in Australian Government (Federal and State) energy and water business programs?

There is a strong trend within Australian Government to move away from voluntary energy and water programs into mandatory reporting programs. The common predicament for many businesses is: where do I start, how do I meet the many requirements of the programs, and how do I avoid duplication? Some examples of mandatory programs that have recently been launched or are soon to be released are:

  • Commonwealth Government: Energy Efficiency Opportunities (EEO) program - due for launch in June 2006.
  • State Government: NSW: Department of Energy, Utilities Sustainability (DEUS) Energy Savings Action Plan (ESAP) and the Water Savings Action Plan (WSAP). QLD: EPA Sustainability Program. VIC: EPA State Environment Protection Policies (SEPPs) energy audit.
  • Other voluntary programs include: Australian Building Greenhouse Rating (ABGR) and Green Building Council Green Star ratings.

How does a company avoid duplication when responding to these programs?

Each program has slightly different requirements and levels of analysis and reporting. Therefore, the best way to avoid duplication is to conduct an initial study that identifies the energy / water baseline and provides a broad evaluation of the energy / water saving opportunities.

A scope of work for further analysis and reporting to meet other program requirements also needs to be included. The DEUS Energy Saving Action Plan and the Commonwealth Government EEO program both require detailed energy studies, but EEO includes transport fuels. The EEO requires public reporting whereas the DEUS program requires an energy study report and annual reporting to DEUS. These differences may change the degree of detail shown in reporting but require similar levels of data analysis and project development.

The ABGR rating is becoming a standard to be used for commercial buildings and office space across Australia. This rating system requires an assessment of a building's energy usage, operating and occupancy profiles.

Other sustainability programs require an extended set of data. Data collection and analysis systems such as Energetics' EnTERPRIZE.EM™ online information management application are becoming an essential tool for centralising data sets and providing an auditable path for report verification.

What are the benefits of these programs for businesses?

The obvious benefit is eventual cost savings through reductions in consumption of energy and water and generation of waste. Other and perhaps more long-term benefits include improved company reputation and public relations, increased employee morale, and broader environmental performance improvements.

What is a sustainable approach for energy and water management?

A sustainable approach must address both management systems and technical improvements. DEUS ESAP and WSAP guidelines state: "An Energy / Water Management Review seeks to ensure that energy / water efficiency is incorporated into existing management practices of an organisation and accountabilities are identified for priority actions." The DEUS guidelines state that companies must conduct an assessment of the systems the organisation has in place for managing resources.

Energetics' resource management diagnostic tools (for example, One-2-Five®, and Achiever™) for energy, water, waste and sustainability are highly effective in helping companies to complete this part of the mandatory guidelines. The tools provide an assessment of current business practices, help to secure senior management buy-in to the program, and support organisations to build competencies to continuously improve the way in which they manage resources.

Is there funding available to assist businesses through the implementation phase of programs?

The NSW Government is assisting businesses through the implementation phases of these programs by making available funds for energy and water projects to help improve the payback of projects. For example, in late 2005 DEUS opened the doors for $40 million of funding per year over five years for the implementation of identified energy savings projects and $30 million of funding per year over four years for the implementation of identified water savings projects.

These funds are available for any NSW business, not just those that have requirements under mandatory programs. Energetics would be happy to assist businesses to apply for these funds and also to help them work through the various requirements of the aforementioned programs.

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