New survey shows big energy users hitting efficiency barriers

29 Aug 2008Archived News Energetics in the News

Full survey analysis is available providing insight into the views of participants in the Federal Government's Energy Efficiency Opportunities (EEO) program.

 

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A survey of Australia’s largest energy users has shown that the federal government’s Energy Efficiency Opportunities (EEO) program has shifted business attitudes and behaviour, but significant barriers to full participation remain.

The survey was undertaken by Energetics, a leading energy and carbon management consultancy, and demonstrates that as the government finalises the design of its Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme it will need to focus on energy efficiency initiatives to prepare industry for a low-carbon economy.

The EEO program (http://www.energyefficiencyopportunities.gov.au) was introduced in 2006 and requires Australia’s energy users to identify and report on energy efficiency opportunities within their business. Participation is mandatory for the 220 companies that consume more than 500 terajoules of energy per year, with initial savings assessments due for completion by 30 June this year, and all assessments due by 2011.

Energetics surveyed a random sample of participating companies to gauge the scheme’s effectiveness and to help define barriers to implementing the savings identified. Twenty-five percent of all participating companies responded to the survey.
The three key barriers found were:
• The lack of a price on carbon emissions
• A need for financial or tax incentives to accelerate energy efficiency investments
• Resource limitations – businesses lack the staff time, skills and budget resources to meet EEO requirements.

The EEO scheme appears to have been effective in changing business culture as well as finding savings opportunities with nearly 40 percent of respondents indicating they have used it to drive their energy management beyond minimum compliance requirements.

Energetics founder Jon Jutsen says the findings contain a number of messages for the government as it prepares to introduce an emissions trading scheme.

“While over half of businesses see a carbon price as a valuable element in driving energy savings, similar numbers of business defined capital incentives and availability of skilled resources as being equally important,” said Jutsen.

“These findings support the argument for establishing a strong complementary program to help businesses transition to a carbon constrained economy,” he said.

“Such a transition plan should include financial incentives and skills support to assist companies to rapidly enhance their energy efficiency and become more competitive in a changed market with much higher energy and carbon costs than when their facilities were designed.”

To arrange an interview with an Energetics spokesperson, please contact 02 9929 3911

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