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Energy audits save money and the environment



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N E W S

• R E L E A S E

DPIE93/2 GR 11 January 1993

ENERGY AUDITS SAVE MONEY AND THE ENVIRONMENT

Australian businesses are missing out on big savings in their energy costs, by ignoring simple energy conservation measures, the Federal Minister for Resources, Alan Griffiths, said today.

Mr Griffiths was launching a publicity campaign for the Federal Government's Enterprise Energy Audit Scheme.

The Minister has written to more than 20,000 medium and large companies in various business and industry sectors, urging them to take action to reduce their consumption of energy and cut operating costs by undertaking an energy audit.

"Most firms today are constantly attempting to bring down their operating costs and boost productivity. However, most enterprises have their attention fixed on the "big ticket" items and can overlook less significant opportunities - such as saving energy.

"Energy can account for up to 10% of operating costs and is one of the most controllable cost items," Mr Griffiths said.

Mr Griffiths said the Government can help by providing funding support for 50% of the cost of an energy audit up to a maximum of $5000, through its Enterprise Energy Audit Program (EEAP).

"The total cost of audits funded undertaken by companies so far is in excess of $720,000, of which more than $330,000 has been refunded by the Government.

"Figures compiled by my Department-have highlighted the extent of energy savings being ignored by Australian business and industry."

Mr Griffiths noted that firms which have had audits conducted under the Audit Program have identified annual savings 30 times the amount they paid for the audit (on average, $4,000).

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Parliament House Phone: (06) 277 7480

Canberra ACT 2600 Fax: (06) 273 4154

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Additionally, of the first 100 claims processed, enterprises could, on average, reduce their reduce carbon dioxide emissions by almost 1200 tonnes each year.

"From an environmental viewpoint, this is truly a "no regrets" option. Companies can help the environment, while helping themselves to big energy savings," Mr Griffiths said.

"An energy management program that is well conceived and maintained has the potential to save 5% - 20% of a firm's energy bill and to continue to produce returns year after year. In today's tight business climate this is

surely one of the best investments a firm can make."

The attached case studies show potential energy savings which have been highlighted by the Government's Enterprise Energy Audit Program.

Information: Kristen Barry (06) 277 7480

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ENERGY EFFICIENCY CASE STUDIES

The following case studies have been taken from the records of the Enterprise Energy Audit Program.

MANUFACTURING

In a modern and well run plant, with energy awareness high among engineers and managers, the auditor identified some attractive energy saving opportunities suitable for immediate implementation which would achieve energy savings of more than $81,000 a year. There was also a range of other projects requiring further investigation, which had the potential to save an additional $180,000 annually in energy costs.

The total utility costs for the site in a twelve-month period were about $1.3m (16,000MWh) for electricity and $0.14m (19,500GJ) for natural gas.

The energy auditor recommended the introduction of a central energy monitoring system, linked to a demand control system, to provide the monitoring and reporting functions required by supervisors and managers.

FOOD INDUSTRY

In this plant, natural gas accounted for nearly 60% of energy costs and electricity 40%, with the total annual energy bill about $254,000.

Based on the proposed audit recommendations, annual savings of nearly $29,000 were considered possible against an initial investment of about $37,000.

Measures to bring about these savings ranged from improving use of steam (about one month's payback), and adjusting burners in ovens (about six months payback), to heat recovery (32 months payback).

Simply switching off lights in the production areas after hours rather than leaving lights on 24 hours a day, seven- days a week, as had been the practice, would produce savings of nearly $7,000 annually.

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OFFICE COMPLEX

Annual consumption of electricity was about 4,900MWh costing about $520,000 and natural gas about 27,000GJ costing about $127,000.

Energy saving initiatives recommended by the auditor included measures to reduce house services electrical costs by more than 25% and car park energy costs by 54%. The total estimated annual savings on the list of preferred options amounted to about $70,000 against an estimated implementation cost of about $100,000, giving a simple pay back period of

about 1.4 years.

Energy savings would bring the bonus of greater tenant satisfaction and an improved maintenance regime.

PROCESSING

This fabric finishing plant operates 24 hours a day, five days a week. The plant consumes annually about 124,000GJ of energy costing about $700,000.

If all the recommendations of the energy audit report were undertaken, estimated annual savings of $160,000 could be achieved.

In order of simple payback period, the audit recommendations ranged from eliminating some steps in the plant process which would save nearly $3,000 annually at no cost; saving about $50,000 by changing the electricity tariff at a cost of about $1,300; installing a condensate return system saving about $39,000 for an investment of $30,000, and insulating a heating process to

save about $42,000 for a cost in excess of $74,000.

HOTEL

The hotel was built in the 1950s, but the 70 guest rooms and the main service areas had been modified in a series of refits. The hotel's annual electricity bill was about $188,000 and the natural gas bill about $23,000.

Nearly half of the electricity consumed was used to provide lighting and air conditioning in the communal and service areas.

An energy audit showed that significant, cost effective savings could be . made in nearly all of the hotel's operations. The savings included electricity tariffs ($10,000 to be saved for an implementation cost of only $700), air conditioning (about $12,000 to be saved at a cost of about $8,000), domestic

hot water (about $6,000 against project costs of $1,600) and in the kitchens, where cooking equipment was turned on early and turned off late, ($2,000 -$3,000 to be achieved at no cost).