A group of Lake Macquarie manufacturers are looking to gain a better understanding of their energy consumption through a federally funded initiative called Save Watts.
In order to determine their specific requirements, 11 manufacturers have had a monitoring system in place over the last month. Already the data from the systems, combined with analysis of their bills has revealed three key energy efficiency matters for the businesses to consider:
- Energy contract and rates | Three businesses are on their optimal contract rates. Three are not and need to negotiate with their retailer. The other five are still to analyse their data.
- Efficiency of Peak / Shoulder / Off Peak splits | Knowing the rates for each of these and load shedding out of peak times where possible can save money.
- Power Factor | Early readings show that all businesses whose power factor is being monitored have power factor issues.
Today, the Business Growth Centre is running the first of six education sessions to discuss the findings and review what the consumption habits are costing the businesses.
Business Growth Centre Energy Efficiency Officer, Maryanne Cantwell says the initiative is important in building the success and sustainability of local businesses and the evidence is already becoming clear
“The Save Watts program is a great way for businesses to improve their energy efficiency and their bottom line,” Maryanne said.
“Businesses who have registered for the program are already on their way to gaining a greater understanding of their business' electricity consumption and they can start to make simple changes which can help reduce their electricity consumption. This understanding of the financial impact of their energy consumption will not only give them a chance to save money that goes straight to the bottom line, but also a strong business case for upgrades that can be funded through electricity savings.”
The live energy monitoring system that the participating businesses have installed continually tracks their usage patterns and specific equipment and prompts them to make savings by changing their behaviors, equipment and processes. They are also receiving support and advice from a professional energy efficiency consultant who is helping them identify the most viable energy saving projects.
The Business Growth Centre partnered with Lake Macquarie City Council to secure a $353,000 grant through the Federal Governments Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism for the program. It is this funding that will see manufacturers in the region benefit from the Save Watts energy efficiency information program, just like the businesses already participating.
Forty Lake Macquarie electricians have also benefited by receiving subsidised Ecosmart Electrician Training, including training to install and service the energy monitoring systems used by the participating manufacturers.
There are 25 spaces left for Lake Macquarie manufacturers and those who are interested in joining the program are encouraged to contact the Save Watts hotline on 4032 8277.
Other Lake Macquarie businesses can also seek advice via the Save Watts Hotline or can send an email to [email protected]