Media

CEFC Chair flags the importance of energy productivity for economic growth

18 June 2015


Clean Energy Finance Corporation chair Jillian Broadbent AO sees improving energy productivity as a way to improve economic growth in Australia.

Ms Broadbent, will address the Energy Productivity in Action (EPIA) 2015, an Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) business event in Sydney tonight, saying improvements in energy productivity can also drive improvements in productivity in other areas, including capital and labour productivity.

ClimateWorks research has shown how Australia could nearly double its energy productivity by 2030 by modernising our energy system and encouraging the take up of new technology. That means Australia could generate almost twice as much output from every unit of energy.

“Cutting energy costs and switching to self-generated renewable energy has never been more important for Australian businesses,” Ms Broadbent said.

“As a nation, we spend more than $120 billion a year on energy. But with the right equipment, businesses can lower energy and operating costs, cut heating, cooling and lighting bills and even create energy from waste.

“And with low interest rates and improvements in technology, now is the opportune time to upgrade plant and equipment and improve energy efficiency and business productivity. Sometimes a 20 per cent or 30 per cent reduction on your energy bill by making simple changes to machinery or lighting, has been able to provide a good return on investment,” she said.

Ms Broadbent highlighted the CEFC’s work with organisations that were reaping the benefits of improving their energy productivity by using CEFC finance to upgrade their operations.

“Energy efficiency makes up some 39 per cent of the CEFC’s investments, with some manufacturers upgrading equipment to lower their energy costs by up to 30 per cent, and building owners retrofitting office buildings to cut base building energy costs by up to 45 per cent and schools and sporting clubs cutting lighting costs by more than 50 per cent by installing LED lighting.”

“Boosting energy productivity isn’t a second order issue for business – it can be transformative, delivering a substantial boost to operating efficiency and the business bottom line. It can open up new opportunities, new markets and help widen the customer base.”
 
Ms Broadbent said the Office of Environment and Heritage program has been pivotal in helping businesses identify where the biggest energy productivity gains could be made.  The CEFC is keen to work with as many businesses as possible to help them make lasting transformations to their operations.