The latest results from the Australian Government’s Energy Efficiency Opportunities (EEO) Program reveals Australia’s largest businesses are saving 88.8 petajoules (PJ) of energy per year or 1.5 per cent of Australia’s annual greenhouse gas emissions.

The Continuing Opportunities 2011 report indicates that companies participating in the EEO program are implementing projects which will save approximately 5.4% of assessed energy use. This represents an increase in energy savings of 17.6 per cent from those reported last year and more than doubling the savings initially reported by companies in 2008.

The Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson AM MP, welcomed the results which underscore the importance of the EEO program in helping businesses to manage their energy use and identify opportunities to save money.

“These results demonstrate the capacity for meaningful energy savings to be identified and implemented through a rigorous and whole of business assessment as required under the EEO program,” Minister Ferguson said.

“Most importantly, the EEO program has contributed to helping businesses and the economy save over $800 million a year—and the savings don’t necessarily end there with opportunities still under investigation of 38.3 PJ totalling $319 million.

“These findings show there is huge potential for businesses to reduce their energy use consistent with the trend emerging in the Australian Energy Market Operator’s revised forecasts for energy demand.”

To encourage the wider adoption of good energy management practice, from 1 July this year the program has been extended to allow voluntary participation by smaller businesses with annual energy usage below the existing 0.5PJ threshold.  

“The Continuing Opportunities report highlights that many medium-energy users could benefit from the EEO Program, particularly in the food and chemical manufacturing, transport and mining sectors where companies have reported significant savings under the existing scheme. I encourage interested businesses to seize this opportunity” Minister Ferguson said.

The data used to compile this report will be fed into a more detailed examination of results that will be released in the third quarter of 2012. Data will also be analysed as part of a statutory review which is currently being conducted to assess the effectiveness of the program and opportunities to streamline its reporting with the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting requirements.

The Report and further information on the extension of the EEO to medium sized business is available at www.energyefficiencyopportunities.gov.au

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