An urgent energy revolution to improve efficiency is needed following the release of the white paper on the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, according to Dominic Da Cruz, Western Australia managing director of Enigin – a global energy management business.
“In the face of the tripartite threats of recession, climate change and legislated emission reduction targets with a $25/t cost of carbon an urgent energy revolution is required to improve energy efficiency,” he said.
“Business, governments and not-for-profit organisations need to usher in this energy revolution to avoid material risks to both the economy and climate.”
Mr Da Cruz was responding to the release of the Rudd Government's Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme White Paper which reveals the design of its Emissions Trading Scheme and medium term reduction targets.
“Organisations waste far too much energy,” he said. “The cost of electricity and gas are increasing substantially even without the ETS. Yet most businesses continue to waste up to a whopping 20 per cent of their energy – possibly even more. Lack of energy efficiency today is inexcusable due to the double threats of climate change and recession.
“Organisations that waste energy affect each and every one of us on a personal level. By using outdated energy-consuming equipment and failing to take simple measures to save energy, organisations are unnecessarily driving up their energy bills, putting extra pressure on their cash-flows and inadvertently raising our cost of living.”
“On the flip side, by being more energy efficient organisations can cut their increasing energy costs by up to 40 per cent,” Mr Da Cruz said – savings that businesses like Enigin are guaranteeing.
“Saving energy will mitigate the risks most organisations fear from the ETS; it not only reduces their carbon footprint but by reducing their costs will make them more competitive and help them to become stronger in an economy threatened with recession. Energy efficiency is key to business success under the ETS. A robust energy-saving plan can have the same effect on bottom line profit that would otherwise require a 20 per cent increase in turnover to achieve.”
So why is business still wasting energy? The answer is market imperfections according to a McKinsey Quarterly study in April this year. These market imperfections include for example, a lack of awareness among decision makers in business of the technology that can be used to reduce energy demand and costs. Another barrier is reluctance to finance the upfront investment.
Mr Da Cruz said Enigin had embarked on correcting these market imperfections by bringing the most efficacious energy-saving technology in the world to businesses in Western Australia and making it an affordable investment that achieves a 2 year payback.
“Investing in Energy Savings really doesn't cost anything as organisations are already paying for it in unnecessarily high energy bills,” he said. “But Enigin further offers a 'pay-as-you-save' option so that the capital invested in energy-saving technology is re-payed from the energy savings that are guaranteed.”
Its not only Enigin that is attempting to lower the financing barrier cited in the McKinsey report. The federal government is providing grants to encourage organisations to save energy. Available to businesses today are AusIndustry grants such as the Green Building Fund which provides commercial office building owners with 50% of the capital required - up to $500K, to make their buildings more energy efficient. Applications for the next funding round close on 15 January 2009. Another is Re-tooling for Climate Change that provides the manufacturing sector with one third of the capital required - up to $500K, to increase the energy efficiency of their manufacturing process. The next funding round for this grant closes on 16 February 2009.
“Enigin Western Australia is working with both industry sectors to maximise the energy savings from these grants,” said Mr Da Cruz.
Business is not the only benefactor of energy efficiency grants. Under the National Solar Schools program all Primary and Secondary schools across the country are eligible for $50K each to become energy efficient if they also install a minimum 2kW Photvoltaic system.
“Again, Enigin is working closely with schools in WA to achieve the biggest bang from their grant buck,” Mr Da Cruz said.
“The combination of these grants with Enigin's value proposition is compelling - for businesses facing the tripartite threats of recession, an ETS and climate change an energy revolution is urgent but does not have to be destructive. Indeed, saving energy is the easiest, most rapid and most effective way to answer the challenge of our energy dependence and reduce damage to the environment. An integrated energy-efficiency action plan can improve Australian competitiveness, the living standards of our citizens and boost employment.
“The time to start is now – don't fear the ETS or recession - usher in an energy revolution by improving energy efficiency and contribute to saving not only energy, but businesses, homes and the world.
Enigin Western Australia
Enigin Western Australia enables organisations to reduce their energy costs and carbon footprint.
Dominic Da Cruz, Enigin - WA managing director
P: 08 6311 4686
M: 0437 809 426