Australian manufacturers are being encouraged to take immediate steps to manage their energy consumption in the face of escalating energy costs and record gas prices.
In a joint initiative, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, the Energy Efficiency Council and the Australian Industry Group launched Australian Manufacturing: Gas Efficiency Guide – a comprehensive resource identifying practical and proven strategies to deliver energy and cost savings across manufacturing operations.
The guide examines the energy needs of a wide range of manufacturers, from food and beverage production to metals fabrication, printing and furniture manufacturing. It finds significant opportunities to cut energy use, such as a meat processing plant which saved $45,000 per month by cutting gas use by 21 per cent, after upgrades to its boiler and steam facilities. A building products manufacturer saved $42,000 per year by installing a new control system on its boiler.
The guide identifies a range of proven technologies with the potential to cut gas consumption by 25 per cent. In the majority of cases, up front investment costs were $50,000 or less, with the costs recovered within just five years. If the initiatives were all implemented at once, they would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 10 million tonnes a year, equivalent to taking more than two million passenger vehicles off the road, or meeting the electricity needs of 1.5 million homes.
CEFC CEO Ian Learmonth said: “It is no secret that manufacturers are relatively large energy users. The good news is that clean energy solutions can make a very real and positive difference. An initial investment of $50,000 or less can be recovered within just five years, producing lasting benefits for the business. By switching to more efficient equipment and cheaper renewable energy, manufactures can improve their competitiveness as well as cut greenhouse gas emissions.”
EEC CEO Luke Menzel said: “Gas prices have risen substantially, and leading Aussie manufacturers are investing in energy efficiency to take control of their energy costs. The good news is that these projects are delivering benefits well beyond energy savings: operational life of equipment is increasing and maintenance costs and emissions are going down. This guide catalogues the learnings from leaders on gas efficiency so they can be leveraged across the entire manufacturing sector.”
Ai Group CEO Innes Willox said: “Australia’s manufacturing sector has confounded doubters in recent years by expanding strongly. The sector has the potential for even greater growth amidst a new industrial revolution that is transforming industry yet again. However, energy costs loom as one of the most significant headwinds to seizing this opportunity. We’re pleased to support this practical approach to helping manufacturers address these challenges.”