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Launch of enterprise energy audit program

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I am very pleased to be here, and grateful to you, Mr Daphney, and your associates for making your facilities available to us for the launch of the Enterprise Energy

A udit Program.

I m ust say that I d raw a great deal of personal satisfaction from our gathering here

this morning.

I believe that the Enterprise Energy A udit Program represents for Australian industry and commerce a golden opportunity to lead the rest of the community by

exam ple

. to dem onstrate their com m itm ent to the process of preserving our nation's


. to highlight their contribution to the improvem ent of environm ental amenity

. and, of course, to im proving still further their operating efficiency, and by

doing so to im prove their profitability and com petitiveness.,



Let me spend just a few m om ents putting this Program into context.

Last October, the G overnm ent announced its adoption of an interim planning target for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2005 to 20 per

cent below their 1988 levels.

Some two weeks later, the G overnm ent released a m uch enhanced package of energy management support initiatives, w ith special program s directed to the needs of every sector of the economy. In broad terms, the initiatives included:

. the provision of advice to every householder in Australia on ways to

conserve energy in the hom e and to im prove the efficiency with which it was being used. This began w ith The Energy Guide, deliveries of which were m ade over the last few months, and translations of which in eleven

languages are about to appear

. improved advice on transport fuel efficiency, and eventual extension of the program into vehicle fleets and commercial vehicles. A start has

already been m ade on this w ork with the first of a series of training courses in fleet m anagem ent

. a whole range of initiatives in the Government's own operations, including the extension of the program from buildings to the rather

substantial vehicle fleet. An audit of this fleet is about to begin

. demonstrations of efficient energy m anagem ent technologies in buildings

. improved access to data on dem onstrated efficient end-use technologies and energy m anagem ent practices, including international best practice, which is available through Australia's m em bership of the International

Energy Agency's Centre for the Analysis and Dissemination of Demonstrated Energy Technologies

. the first National Energy M anagem ent Forum, which was held here in Melbourne last week

. expanded opportunity for energy m anagem ent training seminars and workshops for business - an activity I w ould like to see expanded if there is sufficient dem and from industry for it.

These are just some of the initiatives on w hich a start has already been made.

The Enterprise Energy A udit Program was also among them, of course.

Some $15 million has been m ade available for these program s over a two-and-a- half year period, about $4.5 million for su p p o rt of the audits.

The reason for making energy efficiency im provem ent the first line of response to the Government's greenhouse comm itm ent is quite clear. Burning fossil fuels to produce the energy we need is the largest single hum an contribution to the emission of greenhouse gases. Conservation of energy and greater energy

efficiency are obviously the m ost immediate options at our disposal to respond

to the greenhouse challenge.

It makes good sense, therefore, for the G overnm ent to give them the highest priority among its response measures.

The advantage of improved energy m anagem ent, of course, is that it offers other


The Government's Ecologically Sustainable Development working groups will be reporting later this year on w hat they see as the key issues in m anaging the totality of our resources, our environm ent an d our ecosystems, not only in our lifetimes but for the generations which follow us.

I have no doubt that these working groups will highlight the importance of

developing an energy conserving ethos as one of the most im portant factors in the entire Ecologically Sustainable Developm ent process.

Businesses, however, have an equally im portant and more imm ediate concern.

They have to prosper - for the benefit of all of their stakeholders : shareholders, employees, clients and the nation as a whole.

They operate in an ever more complex economic environm ent. They are subject

not only to the influences of overall economic conditions at hom e. They are influenced also by the whole array of international economic factors:

. the growing internationalisation of commerce and of corporations

. fluctuating financial m arkets which can influence very quickly and very

substantially their competitiveness, and

. a wide range of challenges posed by trade barriers, m arketing practices

and so on.

The company which responds best to these challenges is the one which ensures that its operations are as efficient as they can be. Often, com panies that are quite willing to examine the efficiency of the 'big ticket' items - m aterials, capital costs, workforce structures and so on - will overlook the smaller bu t significant items such as energy efficiency, despite the fact that they are direct contributors to the

bottom line.

As Martin Thomas, the President of the Institution of Engineers, Australia, said at the National Energy M anagem ent Forum last week, the effect of energy efficiency im provem ents is usually vastly greater than just the am ount of energy

saved. Almost invariably, there will be product quality and productivity gains as well as the energy efficiency gains.

I see the Enterprise Energy A udit Program as a partnership betw een the Government and business. Together, we can do great things for our nation

through it.

Involvem ent of N issan

This brings me to the involvem ent of Nissan in today's launch.

We have spent the last few m onths conducting some trial audits under this

Program, largely to make sure that the systems we p u t in place for the Program

as a whole are effective, and that the adm inistration of the program puts as little burden on participating companies as possible.

Nissan was one of the first companies to help us in this process, by undertaking

one of the pilot audits in its diecasting plant.

To me, this eagerness already underscored Nissan's comm itm ent to im proving the energy efficiency of its operations - a very pleasing aspect in its own right.

It is even more pleasing, however, to see the m uch broader commitment to efficiency which pervades the entire operation here at Dandenong and w hich is reflected in its achievements:

. some 90% of the output is exported to Japan - a situation which I am sure

w ould not arise unless you were competitive on w orld m arkets

. there is a high level of comm itm ent to quality control in your operations, to ensure that you m aintain your m arket standing

. you have attem pted to establish a strongly consultative process throughout your plant and in concert with the one-union structure (the Vehicle Builders' Employees Federation) which has been established here.

Energy efficiency for you, obviously, is not some exotic feature of your operations which deserves special attention. It is integrated with the entire

operation of your plant and is just one of the cost factors w hich m ust be managed.

This is precisely as it should be. We need to encourage others to adopt the same


Role of Institution of E ngineers

If the Enterprise Energy A udit Program is to succeed, it requires not only committed companies and organisations to exploit it but com m itted and highly

expert energy auditors to participate in it.

W e have been determ ined from the outset to m ake sure that the quality of audits,

and therefore the calibre of auditors, was as high as possible.

For this we needed expert help. That help w as forthcom ing from the Institution of Engineers, Australia.

The Institution established an Accreditation Board to establish a register of auditors and to vet applications for registration. It appointed to that Board people of the highest calibre and great expertise.

The Board will continue its task, and over time will help m y D epartm ent assess the performance of auditors - and by implication the Program itself.

I am most grateful to the Institution for its assistance. It has m ade the task of establishing the Program on a highly professional basis a m uch sim pler one.

Thank you, once again, to the m anagem ent and staff of N issan for m aking your

facilities available to us.

A nd now, ladies and gentlemen, I am pleased to declare the Enterprise Energy A udit Program formally launched. I look forw ard to some outstanding achievements over the next few years arising from it.