National Energy Efficiency Awards celebrate excellence and innovation 30 May 2022

The Energy Efficiency Council congratulates the winners of the 2022 National Energy Efficiency Awards, presented at the National Energy Efficiency Conference in Melbourne on 25-26 May. First awarded in 2012, the awards recognise outstanding excellence and achievement amongst energy efficiency companies and professionals.

Energy Efficiency Council Chief Executive Officer Luke Menzel paid tribute to this year’s winners: “As we move towards a net zero future, the excellence, innovation and forward-thinking demonstrated in these projects and people will become indispensable. We are delighted to highlight the achievements of some great Australian businesses and professionals.”

The National Energy Efficiency Awards 2022 were supported by award sponsor Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and award partners Business Australia and the Energy Users Association of Australia (EUAA).

2021 Award Winners

The National Energy Efficiency Awards were not run in 2021, however, the 2021 Energy Efficiency Champion was awarded at the 2022 National Energy Efficiency Conference.

Energy Efficiency Champion 2021

Winner: Caroline Pidcock

Presented to an individual who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in advancing the energy efficiency industry, through advocacy, research, education or projects.

Caroline Pidcock has been a leading voice for development of a sustainable built environment over the last three decades. Caroline is a thought leader in sustainable architecture and is passionate about the importance of architecture, biophilia and regenerative design. Caroline’s practice works to create a future that is socially just, culturally rich, and ecologically restorative.

2022 Award Winners

Energy Efficiency Champion 2022

Winner: Ian McNicol

Presented to an individual who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in advancing the energy efficiency industry, through advocacy, research, education or projects.

Over three decades, Ian has made an outstanding contribution to improving energy efficiency of Victoria’s households. At Sustainability Victoria, Ian is known as the grandfather of the Victrian Energy Upgrades program, having been involved since its inception as the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target. Ian’s passion for energy efficiency policy and data has underpinned many successful projects, and continues to inspire his colleagues.

Young Energy Efficiency Professional 2022

Winner: Alan Wuyi Wang

The Young Energy Efficiency Professional award recognises the significant contribution made to the energy efficiency sector by a person under the age of 35.

Alan is an emerging leader in the Australian energy efficiency industry, advancing measurement and verification practice in Victoria. He led the first M&V project to deliver VEECs; pioneered the Solar VEECs solution using M&V for large-scale solar installations and studied gas saving measures to avoid gas shortfalls. Alan is passionate about energy efficiency and the transition away from fossil fuels and works hard to build knowledge both in his professional networks, and his local community of Wyndham.

EEC Life Fellow 2022

Winner: Sara Gipton

The EEC fellowship is awarded to an individual who has made an exceptional contribution to the Energy Efficiency Council and its mission. When the contribution is outstanding, and their work has had a decisive role in the development of the sector, we award a Life Fellowship.

Sara served as the Council’s Treasurer for nearly six years from February 2015 to October 2020 and is a passionate and recognised leader in climate change policy, carbon markets and corporate sustainability.  Sara played a crucial role in supporting the Energy Efficiency Council’s development from a fledgling organisation into the respected, well-governed and scalable entity it is today. Many of the existing governance structures on which the Council is currently building were of her design and influence. Her financial acumen, strategic insight, consistent engagement and attention to detail were invaluable to the Board and management, and her legacy is of a significant and decisive contribution to the development of the energy management sector.

Integrated Clean Energy Award 2022
Presented in partnership with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency

Winner: Thermal Energy Solutions and A. G. Coombs for 101 Collins Street – Gas hot water plant conversion to heat pump with solar PV.

The project converted natural gas hot water generation to a system featuring highly efficient commercial heat pumps, thermal storage calorifier tanks and solar PV collectors. The new plant reduced energy consumption by eighty-one per cent compared to the previous plant and reduced associated greenhouse gas emissions.

Best Industrial Energy Management Project 2022

Winner: BlueScope Steel for their Increased Heat Recovery Project

BlueScope Steel’s project at its Western Sydney Paint Line manufacturing facility maximised heat recovery in the paint curing ovens to reduce natural gas usage, by minimising exhaust and ambient air ingress, increasing hot air recycling capacity and improving process management. The project reduced total natural gas consumption by 20 per cent across the site.

Best Commercial Building Energy Management Project 2022

Winner: Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre for Beyond Net Zero

PICAC in Narre Warren, Melbourne, is a state-of-the-art training facility designed as a zero-energy building, using an integrated solution of passive design, active design, and renewable energy. It is the first Australian building to use building foundation screw piles for geothermal energy capture, and was energy-positive in 2020-21.

Leading Energy User 2022
Presented in partnership with the Energy Users Association of Australia

Winner: Telstra InfraCo for Energy Reduction Program

Telstra InfraCo’s program to reduce energy through asset inspection and optimisation, upgrades, and monitoring of air conditioning, power conversion systems and building lighting. Since 1 July 2019, the program has enabled annual savings of 36,400 kilowatt-hours of electricity.

Highly commended: Bega Cheese Ltd for Energy Management Capability Program

Working with Shell Energy, Bega implemented submetering and connection to energy management software and implemented a plan to identify and implement energy efficiency opportunities. Bega’s Port Melbourne site has achieved an energy reduction of 6.8%, equal to 11,274 GJ.

Best Energy Saving Program 2022

Winner: Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (Victorian Government) for the Small Business Energy Saver Program.

The Program provides an incentive for Victorian small businesses to undertake energy efficiency upgrades and leverages organisations such as Greenhouse Alliances, Local Government and peak bodies to engage with local businesses and trades to promote and educate small businesses on energy saving opportunities. From the upgrades delivered to date, the program will save 8,240 megawatt-hours, 7,651 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions and $2.14 million in energy per year.

Highly Commended: ACT Government Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate for the Sustainable Household Scheme.

The Scheme provides zero-interest loans between $2,000 and $15,000 to help homeowners reduce energy use and costs, live more comfortably and futureproof their homes for a changing climate.  It will see over 10,000 ACT homes purchase products including rooftop solar, household battery storage, hot water heat pumps, electric stovetops, electric heating and cooling, electric vehicle chargers, and new and used electric vehicles over its five-year life.

Best Innovation in Energy Management 2022

Winner: Exergenics for Chilled Plant Water Optimisation

Exergenics has developed cloud-based, API-first chilled plant water optimisation engine that has been demonstrated to reduce chiller plant energy use by between 3.6% and 13.4%, with an average reduction of 7.1%, and a peak demand reduction of 4.2% to 15.4%, with an average of 7.3%. The implementation at the Queensland Children's Hospital resulted in the saving of 186,703 kilowatt-hours, equivalent to 149 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.

Best Residential Energy Management Project 2022

Winner: Suho for Adelaide’s First Efficient 10 Star Home

Adelaide's First Energy Efficient 10 Star Home demonstrates the possibilities of sustainable design and construction in the Australian residential housing market. The house uses 3 megajoules per square metre annually for heating and cooling compared to 96 MJ/m2 for the average newly built home in Australia. This home, which can be off-grid, can build knowledge, data and adoption, of more climate-friendly homes.