Australian Companies told to get smart on power  

Posted by Big Gav in ,

The SMH has an article on a report from the Energy Efficiency Council on the benefits of business becoming more energy efficient - Companies told to get smart on power.

AUSTRALIA could meet most of its promised greenhouse gas cuts and save money along the way by using energy more intelligently, a report shows.

The nation lags behind all other developed countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, said the Energy Efficiency Council, which commissioned the report.

The industry group - which represents hundreds of businesses including Philips, Origin and Szencorp - will outline a blueprint in Sydney today for a national energy efficiency scheme and an efficiency target that would partly compensate for the postponed federal emissions trading scheme.

It notes Australia's top 200 companies use almost twice as much power as all households combined and if they improved energy use by 1 per cent it would slash emissions and save more than $2 billion a year.

''Australia has had fairly expensive electricity but this has led to an 'excuse mentality' where we feel that nothing needs to be done,'' the council's chief executive, Rob Murray-Leach, said. ''If we found out we had the least productive workforce in the developed world then you would expect us to do something about. There's no reason why energy efficiency should be any different.'' ...

The report, which used data from electricity providers and agencies like the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics, claimed the need to spend money on expanding electricity infrastructure would be made redundant if the network could be better tailored to meet demand.

''Australia has been missing out on a massive opportunity,'' the report said. ''Between 1973 and 1998 Australia's energy efficiency increased by just 0.7 per cent a year, compared to 1.6 per cent a year in most other developed countries.''

In NSW, power bills are expected to rise by about 42 per cent over the next three years, mostly to pay for more ''poles and wires'', but if the network companies invested 10 per cent of these funds into energy efficiency, the need for new infrastructure could be eliminated, the report claims.

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