31 August 2020
The Monthly Energy Efficiency News Roundup - August
Govt offers $14.8 mil in grants to support businesses with high energy use
High energy using businesses will be supported by the Morrison Government to identify and capture energy efficiency opportunities that will help lower their power bills. From the 10 August 2020, businesses across Australia that consume more than 0.05 petajoules of energy annually can apply for a share in $14.8 million of grants, under the Government's Energy Efficient Communities Program. Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said helping high energy using businesses to improve their energy use is a great way to lower power bills and bolster their resilience in these difficult economic times.
ACT Govt provides renters with free energy assessments to maximise energy efficiency and save money
The ACT Government has today expanded the ACT Home Energy Assessment Scheme to help lower power bills for renters by providing free in-home energy assessments. Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability Shane Rattenbury said the program will look at simple things people can do around their rental home to help save them money and avoid bill shock. "It can be very hard for renters to make major energy-saving change to their home. By expanding this program, we are able to provide renters with tailored information, such as draughtproofing and using heating and cooling appliances and materials efficiently," Minister Rattenbury said.
Home energy efficiency upgrades are the perfect economic recovery option
Since the COVID pandemic hit, an unprecedented consensus amongst non-traditional allies has emerged on the importance of making our homes and businesses more enegy efficient. As Cassandra Goldie, CEO of the Australian Council of Social Services commented earlier this month, "If you're looking for consensus - broad - based support for something - I've not seen anything like what we're seeing in terms of support for investment in energy efficiency". Until recently, energy efficiency was often neglected by policy makers who intended to focus on energy efficiency's more glamorous cousin, renewable energy.
Remote-control energy efficiency system halves consumption for Govt property in Dandenong
The Encompass Blue platform has slashed consumption at a 4,000-square-metre government property in Dandenong, Melbourne, with a 70% energy saving on HVAC, a 46% cut in billed electricity, a claimed 20% extension to asset lifetimes and a payback of just over two years. If anyone's looking to reinforce energy efficiency's credentials as a primary tool in the energy transition, there you have it, Sharon says. "It's great to talk about renewables and storage but if we can reduce the energy of the built environment by 50%, imagine how much easier it would be to go to carbon net zero?"
Energy Efficiency research receives funding boost
LED lights have many proven environmental benefits, but the darker side of LEDs for native wildlife is being investigated as one of five PhD scholarships awarded to La Trobe students through the University’s Net Zero fund. The fund, sponsored by Sonepar, includes $300,000 to enable five research projects and $200,000 for research supporting La Trobe’s commitment to becoming more sustainable. The projects include work to investigate how Artificial Intelligence can assist with energy optimisation, and energy efficiency in the Internet of Things, heating and cooling systems, lighting, university research labs and offices.
NatHERs to expand to existing homes
Some home buyers are set to get more information about how much energy their potential new home uses before they purchase, under an expanded national rating scheme. The Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme, or NatHERS, focuses on new homes but will be expanded next year to include rating existing buildings, a spokesman for the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources confirmed to Domain. A NatHERS rating as it is now is a star rating between zero to 10 showing how much energy is required to heat or cool a home, based on its design.