10 November 2014
Investment in energy efficiency will boost Australia’s productivity and enhance its competitiveness in international markets, according to Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) Chairman Jillian Broadbent AO.
The CEFC Chair, who addressed the National Energy Efficiency Conference in Sydney on Tuesday, 11 November, said energy efficiency doesn’t exist in isolation, and businesses which take a holistic approach to energy productivity can make a major contribution to Australia’s overall productivity and competitiveness.
“Australia currently spends over $100 billion a year in end-use energy, so it’s easy to see how small gains in the way we use energy can have a sizeable impact on our economy,” she said.
“This is particularly important given the current environment of rising electricity costs and predicted gas price rises. There is plenty of scope for improvement. Australia's annual average growth in energy productivity is just over one per cent while countries like the UK and Germany have achieved energy productivity increases of around 8 per cent since the GFC.”
The Clean Energy Finance Corporation and its co-finance partners have developed finance products that are delivering results for Australian businesses investing in energy efficiency.
“Access to finance has been widely identified as a critical inhibitor to energy efficiency investment, so we’re working to mobilise capital investment in the sector by taking a commercial approach, assessing projects on a case-by-case basis,” Ms Broadbent said.
“The CEFC has undertaken successful energy efficiency projects across almost every sector of the economy including property, agriculture, government, small business and manufacturing.
“Businesses have reduced their energy costs by anywhere between 25 and 50 per cent, and by installing new equipment, many have also made significant savings on maintenance costs, while boosting their production speed and capacity and improving environmental performance.”
The CEFC is enabling investment in all types of energy efficient equipment delivering cost savings for businesses and government organisations large and small. CEFC has financed lighting upgrades, air conditioning system and refrigeration upgrades, building management systems and power factor correction devices, as well as upgrades of elevators in commercial properties and air compressors, pumps and other production equipment for manufacturers.