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Cairns businesses discuss potential for energy savings

November 25 2015

Cairns businesses heard from local experts on 25 November about how solar and energy efficiency can help them save money and make a big difference to their operations.

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation's Head of Portfolio Management Paul Greenop says energy cost savings of 30 to 50 per cent are possible and Cairns businesses are well positioned to achieve them.

"Air conditioning and solar are two big focus areas for businesses looking to reduce their energy costs," Mr Greenop says. "Lighting and industry-specific technologies can also help businesses operate more cost-effectively through reduced energy use."

"There are other benefits to upgrading equipment, including the potential for reduced maintenance costs and increased production capacity, and now is a great time to see how these benefits might work for your business."

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation co-hosted a business seminar with the Commonwealth Bank at the Pullman Reef Hotel Casino on 25 November to discuss the ways businesses can cut energy costs.

Guest presenters included Bill Cummings of Cummings Economics who presented his take on the Far North Queensland energy markets and trends,  Omega Greenpower Technical Engineer Sarah Harlen who demonstrated how solar can make a difference and GHD Mechanical Engineer Andrew Brassett who detailed the savings that can be made with efficient Heating Ventilation and Airconditioning (HVAC).

Commonwealth Bank Economist Savanth Sebastian gave broad insights into the shape of the Australian economy.

Mr Greenop says the seminar is an extension of the CEFC's work to help Australian businesses get finance so they can benefit from investing in energy efficient and renewable energy technologies.

"Through our program with the Commonwealth Bank, we're making up to $100 million available for  Energy Efficient Loans that are tailored to work with the projects they are financing, to get businesses benefiting sooner," Mr Greenop said. "We're encouraging businesses to take a serious look at their energy use. They might be surprised at the positive benefits that can flow from having the right equipment that helps save on energy consumption. "

Here's some examples of how Energy Efficient Loans have already worked for Australian businesses: 

  • Plastics manufacturer Global Roto-Moulding expects to almost halve the oven energy use at its Queensland and Victoria operations through upgrades to its moulding ovens
  • Goulburn Valley apple and pear supplier Radevski Coolstores has installed a fruit grader, upgraded its refrigeration and installed solar to cut its overall energy costs
  • Col Crawford Lifestyle Cars in Sydney is expecting to halve its electricity use through LED lighting and solar installations
  • Bankstown Sports in Sydney made its chiller system 50 per cent more efficient and solar energy now generates about 10 per cent of the energy needs at its Baulkham Hills premises.

Cairns seminar attendees received complimentary copies of EnergyCut, a handy guide which provides step-by-step instructions for making changes to everyday business practices to further reduce energy costs. EnergyCut is joint initiative of not-for-profit positive-change organisation Do Something and the Council of Small Business Australia, with support from the Australian Government Department of Industry and Science.


The Energy Efficient Loan program provides financing for projects valued at up to $5 million. The finance program includes $100 million for business loans, which can be used for a range of projects covering energy efficiency, low emissions technology and small-scale renewable projects.

The program provides favourable fixed rate loans in comparison with standard equipment loans. The 3-7 year loans can be for up to 100 per cent of the purchase price, allowing businesses to preserve working capital. The equipment itself typically acts as security, leaving equity in the business free for other purposes.

More information about the Energy Efficient Loan program is available from local Commonwealth Bank representatives, or by phoning 1800 277 397.

Media release, 2015

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