The Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism has released a new publication featuring the insights from more than 20 companies on lessons they have learned conducting energy efficiency assessments over the first five years of the Energy Efficiency Opportunities (EEO) program.

The EEO Program requires large energy-using companies (0.5 petajoules and above) to assess and monitor their energy use and identify cost-effective energy efficiency opportunities with up to a four-year payback period.

The report is a summary of industry presentations given at national EEO workshops in August and September 2012 and reveals some of the solutions participating companies have developed to overcome challenges to energy efficiency uptake.

The publication centres on four key themes which were raised during the workshops - planning future assessments, involving the right people, taking a progressive approach to data and analysis and implementing opportunities.

The importance of reinforcing the business benefits of energy efficiency to management and staff was highlighted by Paul Wright from Bluescope Steel:

We have a database with 34 projects with potential savings of over $1.2 million … having this potential gives us confidence in the use of our existing business improvement systems as we communicate our plans for energy efficiency across the business.

Another theme at the workshops was the importance of involving and motivating staff from across the business to become involved in the development of energy efficiency systems and practices.

A successful technique for us has been to get input from a range of people well before the business case is presented. By the time we get to the formal approval process, I’m literally asked the question, “Didn’t we do this a month ago?”, to which I respond, “Just sign here”.

Troy Powell, Spotless

Companies explained how their understanding of data, and what to do with the information, has matured over the first five years of the program.

We have progressively implemented our sub-metering program and now have web-based portals that our building and engineering managers can log onto. We use monthly project meetings at each of our buildings to discuss performance and to track performance against the NABERS ratings.
Finally, the report touches on ways companies have implemented their opportunities, which can have whole-of-business benefits.
These projects are currently saving us around $3 million per annum as we progressively implement them. That is a big win for us because it has led to a reduction of about 10% of our total energy use and we might not have got there without bundling our smaller projects into one larger business case proposal.

Marc Gillespie, Australia Post

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