Efficiency Action – July 2017
The Energy Efficiency Council's monthly e-newsletter, exclusively for EEC Members.
In today’s policy update, I spend some time on the Queensland Government’s new Climate Transition Strategy, which includes a series of commitments around energy efficiency policy and programs, including development of a new energy efficiency strategy for the state.
There is an emerging 'sensible centre' when it comes to energy efficiency policy at the state level in Australia. It has three key components:
- Government leadership via a program to upgrade the energy efficiency of its own operations
- An energy efficiency scheme to help correct the supply side bias in our energy market
- Targeted outreach and support for businesses to improve their own efficiency.
The Queensland Government’s new Strategy includes commitments in each of these areas. Of course, there is a lot more to comprehensive and effective energy efficiency policy, like minimum standards, and effective support for vulnerable households. However, these three areas have become 'table stakes' for states wishing to be taken seriously in energy efficiency policy.
NSW, Victoria, South Australia have all met this threshold over the last couple of years. This month Queensland took a step towards meeting it as well.
Luke Menzel, CEO, Energy Efficiency Council
Efficiency Action - July 2017
Energy market reform
The Finkel Review has continued to dominate the energy debate over the last month. The discussion came to a head at the COAG Energy Council meeting held on 14 July in Brisbane.
I attended the Stakeholder Roundtable held in Brisbane on the 13 July, the night before energy ministers met formally. In my remarks, I delivered a clear message to the ministers and regulators present: the Finkel Review’s recommendations, are welcome, particularly on demand response. However, there is much more that can and should be done to promote energy efficiency and the broader demand side opportunity.
I pointed to the CSIRO's Low Emissions Technology Roadmap – also released last month – which modelled the costs of various approaches to transitioning our energy system over the next fifteen years. The report included two scenarios that modelled ramping up our ambition and doubling Australia's energy productivity by 2030.
In particular, I pointed out that ambitious energy productivity:
- Left householders with lower energy bills than under any other scenario
- Resulted in lower wholesale prices, because less expenditure is needed on new generation assets
- Gave the energy sector more time to transition to lower carbon forms of generation.
The Finkel Review was very positive about the role of energy efficiency; however, it did not make detailed recommendations for ramping up our collective efforts on this front. This is not surprising given the scope and timeline of the Review, however I made the point that it underlines the need for governments around the country to put a genuine process in place that drives ambitious improvements.
At their meeting the next day, Australia’s energy ministers endorsed 49 of the Finkel Review’s 50 recommendations – all save the Clean Energy Target, which has become a proxy for ideological battles on the Coalition backbench.
The 49 recommendations that were approved include asking the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) to make a recommendation on how to bring demand response into the wholesale electricity market. The new rule needs to be in place for the summer of 2018-19. AEMO and ARENA’s Demand Response Pilot – which in June was expanded to include NSW as well as South Australia and Victoria – will act as a testing ground for the rule change.
The EEC met with the head of new head of AEMO, Audrey Zibelman, in July and is scheduled to meet again in August to discuss demand response and the broader energy market reform agenda.
Queensland Climate Transition Strategy
In mid-July, the Queensland Government’s released its new Climate Transition Strategy. The Strategy includes a strong focus on energy efficiency, setting out plans to:
- Develop and implement a dedicated energy efficiency strategy for Queensland
- Lead by example by reducing carbon emissions from government facilities
- Explore establishing an energy efficiency certificate scheme, similar to those that exist in NSW, Victoria and South Australia
- Support small to medium enterprises to improve their energy efficiency.
The detail on these initiatives is yet to be developed, and programs are unlikely to be rolled out until following the next state election (assuming a Labor victory).
We have been doing a significant amount of advocacy around government energy efficiency and certificate schemes in Queensland, so this in-principal commitment to these areas is a significant step forward.
The EEC met with the Queensland energy and environment minister’s offices following the strategy’s release, and has subsequently met with the departmental teams developing the Strategy. More meetings are slated for August.
The Victorian Government continues to delay the release of their Energy Efficiency and Productivity Strategy, instead drip-feeding elements of the strategy over time. Last week, the Government announced an additional $2.5 million of funding for Victorian industrial energy users to improve gas efficiency.
The NSW energy efficiency strategy is likewise delayed, albeit by months rather than years. The EEC understands that we can expect an announcement soon. The NSW budget confirmed the Government’s commitment of $200 million over five years to demand side policy and programs.
Government efficiency programs
NSW Treasury recently approved approximately a large, multi-million-dollar tranche of funding for government efficiency projects, much of which has been stalled in government approval processes for almost a year.
While some of this delay is due to the ministerial reshuffle that took place in January, cumbersome government processes also played a role. The EEC is strongly lobbying to streamline approval processes to ensure that delays of this length don’t happen again.
The NSW Government also announced that when it refreshes its panel in 2018 it will require all companies that provide EPC services to employ a certified professional. This is a long awaited and welcome development for the Scheme.
Certificate schemes report
The EEC is commissioning a report on the future of Australia's certificate schemes, as a way of strengthening current schemes and underpinning advocacy around expansion of the schemes to other states. The report will canvas:
- Harmonisation through the establishment of a national body for product registration and methodology development
- Improved and streamlined compliance processes
- The role of training and accreditation
- Using the schemes for market transformation and the next generation of products.
This report is timely, given:
- Minister Frydenberg's recent indication that he is not interested in setting up a national scheme, but is interested in supporting harmonisation and the extension of schemes to other states
- The news that Queensland is actively considering the creation of a scheme.
The report is slated for release in October; EEC members will have the opportunity to comment on the initial draft soon.
In June 2017, I was honoured to be invited to speak at an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) workshop on ‘Best Practices for M&V’ in Beijing, China.
Attracting delegates from across the APEC region, the workshop was designed to showcase why Measurement & Verification (M&V) is a crucial part of energy efficiency projects, and one that EEC has been advocating for many years – it’s the tool that gives energy efficiency customers the confidence that they’ve received what they paid for.
The EEC has been delivering M&V training and accreditation in partnership with the Efficiency Valuation Organisation (EVO) and the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) since 2012, and have just ticked over 250 Certified Measurement & Verification Professionals (CMVPs). That means in Australia we’re better placed than ever to deliver high quality M&V and that’s a great thing for the reputation of our sector. This is reflected by the fact that a number of government jurisdictions in Australia are utilising M&V protocol in their white certificate and government efficiency schemes.
APEC M&V workshop delegates
I went to Beijing keen to tell our good news story, and it was well received. However, a key theme of the workshop is that M&V best practices cannot be discussed in isolation. Like so many of the specialised skills delivered by the energy efficiency sector, M&V is one part of the broader energy management conversation.
The message from workshop delegates was that, while governments in our region are well placed to lead on energy efficiency, driving private sector investment is critical if we’re going to meet our respective national and global targets for energy productivity and emissions reduction.
This is a familiar challenge from an Australian perspective. The private sector often views energy efficiency in general and M&V in particular as intimidating, technical, costly optional-extras when compared to other technologies – one could call this the ‘solar is simple’ view. The universal nature of this challenge was highlighted for me during a technical tour arranged for workshop delegates, where we were taken to see a state of the art solar array – interesting, but not especially relevant to the topic of our workshop!
The fact that these barriers are common across nations and cultures could be viewed as depressing. However, it opens up the opportunity for sharing the knowledge we have developed, and learning from our counterparts overseas. My trip – and Head of Policy Rob Murray-Leach’s recent study tour of North America, Europe and Japan – are part of an effort to strengthen these international connections so that the EEC can leverage international problem solving to break down barriers here in Australia.
The learnings from this trip are feeding into the new advanced measurement and verification training programs we have under development. Furthermore, there is interest in using the programs we develop here overseas. It’s an exciting time, and great to deepen the EEC’s international connections for the benefit of EEC members and the broader Australian sector.
Thank you to my hosts at Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation organisation for this fantastic opportunity.
Until 24 July, you can apply to get funding for energy audits or NABERS, EarthCheck, Green Star Performance ratings for buildings in the City of Sydney local government area.
Up to $10,000 is provided for commercial offices, event venues and accommodation buildings in City of Sydney to get ratings or certifications that benchmark building performance and help decision makers:
- Understand how well energy or water is managed in the building (whether you own, manage or occupy)
- Identify and prioritise opportunities to improve energy or water performance and save on bills
- Track improvements over time
- Report and promote performance through a simple, industry standard star rating.
Energy audit grant funding up to $12,000 per building is available for audits that conform to the AS3598 standard. Grant funding is available for commercial offices, event venues or accommodation providers.
Applicants commit to implement cost-effective opportunities identified.
To find out if you are eligible and how to apply contact Kate Read, Sustainability Engagement Coordinator at City of Sydney on email@example.com or 02 9246 7826.
Other grant programs to consider:
Sustainability Victoria is calling for registrants for its new Better Commercial Buildings program.
The program will fund energy efficiency improvements for 50 poorly performing commercial buildings and tenancies (including offices, hotels, retail, and data centres) to:
- Conduct energy audits via a panel of pre-approved service providers
- Implement energy efficiency upgrades of their choice
- Measure and verify building efficiency improvement
- If you are the owner or agent of a commercial building or you are a Service Provider interested in participating in the program, please register below.
Eligible buildings will be selected through a grants process.
The Boosting Productivity materials efficiency grants program is open to small and medium sized manufacturing businesses that have the potential to significantly improve materials efficiency and have less than 200 full time employees.
Funding is available to manufacturers looking to find materials efficiency solutions to their waste problems, which will result in more efficient use of materials and less waste sent to landfill.
Grants of up to $13,000 per business are available.
- Up to $10,000 can be used for expert advice from a materials efficiency assessor (consultant)
- Up to $3,000 as an incentive, to start putting in place materials efficiency solutions
The assessor will work with the business to tackle the root cause of the waste problem, understand the ‘true cost of waste’ and develop a business case for investing in cost-effective solutions.
As this is a non-competitive program, a Business Productivity team adviser is available to guide you through the application process.
For further information call 1300 363 744 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The end of financial year sales usually promotes some positive activities for those in the retail sector; The Energy Efficiency Council is no exception. There has been a mad rush in members wanting to join the Council’s ranks of membership - with 5 new members joining the Council over the last two months.
Lampas Energy consult, develop and implement energy efficiency, materials efficiency and renewable energy upgrades for businesses and households. Lampas Energy identifies smart solutions to reduce energy your consumption and costs, and generate your own energy.
Eco-Efficient House aims to help householders reduce their energy consumption and learn how to improve their energy usage habits. They also offer a system to transform homes into smart homes by enhancing control capabilities and automation.
EQ Escos'expertise spans the entire energy efficiency process, starting with understanding your energy efficiency plans and goals. Their services include implementation focused energy audits, contractor procurement, independent commissioning, building tuning, and measurement & verification of system performance. This independent end-to-end service provides investment certainty for our clients.
The NRG Company specialise in the concept and design of energy performance and reduction techniques. Providing tailored technologies to commercial, multi-tenanted and industrial properties to achieve efficient energy management.
Platinum Electricians are a triple certified electrical company comprising of 14 staff in Adelaide. A new company is currently being created for the sole purpose of energy solutions and management which they hope to transfer across. The company will be nationally based across Australia utilising platinum electricians in every state to deliver an energy savings solution.
If your organisation is looking to join the conversation and get involved with the Council, please contact John Allie, Manager, Partnerships & Member Services at email@example.com or 03 8327 8422.
The Energy Efficiency Council's suite of training programs is expanding – we have just launched the Introduction to Energy Management and Building the Business Case for Energy Efficiency training programs in collaboration with the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage and Sustainability Victoria.
Thanks to Sustainability Victoria, fee subsidies are available for these two training programs, and you can register for both programs to access further discounts!
In addition to this we are launching a new Energy Measurement & Metering training workshop for energy efficiency professionals this October.
We've also scheduled additional CMVP and Energy Auditing to the Australian Standard training sessions - two of our most popular training programs.
You can find more information on all of these programs below, simply click the link on your preferred program to register via our website and secure your place today!
24 August 2017, Melbourne
A half day workshop covering the basics of energy management.
The cost of energy and the efficiency of its use have become major factors in operating any business. Learn the ins and outs of energy management, so your business can maintain its competitive advantage and increase productivity.
This course consists of two 30-minute online components and a half-day workshop.
31 August & 1 September 2017, Melbourne
Your next step to unlocking energy savings.
Identifying energy efficiency projects is a key step in reducing business costs and increasing productivity. The next step is to ‘sell’ the business case within your organisation so that you get the resources you need to implement your projects. This interactive training course helps you plan, develop and communicate your business case for energy efficiency projects.
This course consists of two half-day workshops. To get a taste of the information covered in the workshop, there is a free 30-minute online module, Introduction to building the business case.
Melbourne, 16 October 2017
Sydney, 5 December 2017
Do you measure energy as part of energy auditing or measurement and verification? This one day workshop explores electricity, gas, flow and thermal metering and measurement.
You will receive introductory guidance on meter selection, installation, calibration, data collection and validation. Meter accuracy will be discussed, along with techniques for reducing the costs of measurements, and developing a metering plan in line with your customer's budget.
Techniques for quickly manipulating data files will also be presented, along with guidance on data collection intervals.
Melbourne, 13-15 September 2017
With the introduction of project based methodologies into the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target scheme, there's never been a better time to gain an understanding of measurement and verification. Join us in Melbourne for this 2.5 day workshop, followed by a 4 hour examination for those who wish to achieve CMVP status.
Sydney, 31 October 2017
Accurate and consistent energy auditing is critical to the uptake and quality of energy efficiency projects, as it is often used as the basis for business case justification, project design, and as a baseline to measure post-upgrade savings. Ensure your energy audits are being delivered to the Australian Standard when you join us for this one day workshop in Sydney.
For more information contact us via email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 03 8327 8422
The Energy Efficiency Council is excited to announce that the National Energy Efficiency Conference will take place from Monday 20 - Tuesday 21 November 2017, at Pullman Melbourne Albert Park.
Now in its ninth year, the National Energy Efficiency Conference has built an outstanding reputation as Australia’s flagship event for energy efficiency, distributed generation and demand management.
The Conference will bring together Australia’s foremost energy efficiency experts, forward-thinking policy makers, innovative energy users, political leaders and industry trailblazers to network, debate and analyse the latest thinking on boosting productivity by saving energy.
The theme for 2017 – Security. Affordability. Productivity. – underlines the crucial role demand side measures play in guaranteeing energy security and keeping energy affordable.
Attendance at the Conference has been increasing steadily over time; in 2016, we smashed all records, welcoming over 400 delegates through our doors, and we expect very similar numbers in 2017.
We encourage you to save the date and register your interest in the Conference & National Energy Efficiency Awards below.
We also have a range of sponsorship and exhibition opportunities available. Whether you’re looking to showcase a new product, debate a big idea, connect with decision makers or to simply demonstrate your commitment to Australia’s energy efficiency sector, we have a range of packages to meet your objectives, whatever your budget.
Major Partner announced
We extend warm thanks to our Major Partner the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, whose generous support makes the National Energy Efficiency Conference 2017 possible.
Have further questions regarding the Conference?For further information regarding sponsorship opportunities, the Conference or National Energy Efficiency Awards, please contact Daniela Vrljic, Executive, Events & Communications on (03) 8237 8425 or email email@example.com.
Tuesday 4 July 2017
Ashurst - 181 Williams Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
This Breakfast will feature a keynote presentation from Audrey Zibelman, CEO of the Australian Energy Market Operator.
Wednesday 12 – Friday 14 July 2017
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
In July 2017 Melbourne will host the ECOCITY World Summit. Our focus will be Changing Cities: Resilience and Transformations, highlighting the need to deploy expert knowledge – academic, professional, civic – to make cities resilient in the face of rapid change. Melbourne has been lauded as the world’s most liveable city, but is not immune to the challenges facing all cities. The ECOCITY World Summit 2017 will harness the expertise and develop the networks needed to create a world of ecocities.
ECOCITY Summit are pleased to offer a 10% discount to EEC members. Simply click here to register and take advantage of this exclusive offer.