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Townsville businesses discuss potential for energy savings

24 November 2015

Townsville businesses heard from local experts, on 24 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 Townsville 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 Townsville Yacht Club on 24 November to discuss the ways local businesses can cut energy costs.

Guest presenters included Sascha Thyer, Technical Operations Manager from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, who explained how energy efficiency and solar dramatically cut energy use at the Townsville aquarium.

Sean Cochrane, Managing Director of SuperGreen Solutions, provided information on how energy efficiency and solar technologies can help transform business operations.

Commonwealth Bank Economist Savanth Sebastian gave broad insights into the shape of the Australian economy and Bill Cummings of Cummings Economics will presented his take on North Queensland energy markets and trends.

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.

Townsville 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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