Mandatory Programs Could Bring Big Energy & Cost Savings

01 Jun 2009Archived News Energetics in the News

PUBLISHED: The Australian. Interview with Jonathan Jutsen, Energetics Pty Ltd. 

With the debate on climate change raging and the growing pressure on corporations to be more environmentally responsible, Australian companies have to meet a myriad government programs and requirements aimed at reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gases.

Founded 22 years ago by Jonathan Jutsen, Energetics is Australia's largest energy efficiency and greenhouse specialist, helping companies achieve energy cost savings while addressing mandatory reporting requirements.

"Energetics works with its business customers to develop strategies for dealing with both the opportunity and regulation," Jutsen says. "We have the ability to provide a complete service from strategy to identifying and implementing savings projects and reducing energy use.

"At the moment there are unprecedented demands on business in the energy and greenhouse areas.

"The government is introducing the Energy Efficiency Opportunities Program on July 1 2006 and this will effect the 250 corporations using the most energy in Australia."

According to Jutsen, there will be a mandatory requirements for large corporations to report on energy use and savings opportunities for all their facilities amounting to 80 per cent of their total energy use.

"This will have a beneficial effect on companies and provides an opportunity for them. Rather than look at the legislation from a compliance perspective they should look at the economic benefit that can be obtained by improving their energy efficiency."

However, Jutsen says this is not the only new legislation impacting on business:

"There are several other programs either being enacted or already put in place in the last 12 months. For example, the NSW Program from the Department of Energy, Utilities and Sustainability (DEUS) has two parts to its legislation. One element is the mandatory reporting requirement for those sites gazetted under their legislation.

"The other side of the NSW Government program is an energy savings fund and a water savings fund which offers funding for selected projects to improve energy and water usage and this provides an incentive for implementation of savings opportunities.

"Also in Victoria the government, through the EPA, requires both mandatory reporting of opportunities and implementation, and this program is currently under government review."

Other states are looking at opportunities for having their own energy efficiency reporting requirements, and there is also a greenhouse efficiency program in Western Australia.

"In addition, the Commonwealth enacted legislation last year that requires that companies gaining over $3 million in diesel excise rebates must establish greenhouse agreements by the end of June 2006 if they want to continue receiving rebates."

Jutsen says it is important that all of these reporting requirements be coordinated to ensure companies are not overburdened with conflicting reporting requirements.

However, he says that mandatory reporting requirements should be seen as an opportunity. By being proactive, businesses can save a lot of money.

There are also other funding opportunities, including the greenhouse gas abatement scheme (GGAS) program in NSW that allows companies to capture credits for major energy efficiency improvements. Jutsen says that Energetics' aim is to work with clients to minimise compliance costs and capture maximum opportunities by taking a structured approach focused on financial benefits rather than just meeting minimum compliance.

"We start by looking at the best strategy to capture benefits while meeting reporting regulations.," he says. "We have the capability to bring all pieces together. We work as a facilitator and partner with our clients."

One client of Energetics is Boral, which has to deal with no less than four separate programs. Boral has been undertaking energy savings initiatives for a number of years, not only because of the environmental benefits but it also makes financial sense. Dr Michael Leggo, general manager environmental services at Boral, says Energetics is one of the leading energy consulting groups which has assisted Boral with savings.

"We are not objecting in any wayto the government initiatives to save energy, but what we object to is excess time and cost in favour of saving energy," Dr Leggo says. "What we need is rationalisation of what they want so we can do it once rather than doing the same thing four times."

"Energetics assisted us in the project and is now our supplier for providing third level energy audits as assisting us in energy savings plans."

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