This project focused on the development and delivery of easy-to-implement energy efficiency actions for small and medium businesses (SMEs) across northern metropolitan Melbourne. AEF was funded by the Federal Government’s Energy Efficiency Information Grants (EEIG) program to deliver accessible and useful information on energy efficiency to SMEs in six languages. The project was supported by the Northern Alliance for Greenhouse Action (NAGA) local government members. AEF developed engaging information products (factsheets, case studies and videos) and reached out to four key employment sectors – accommodation, retail, food services and professional/technical services. The information produced was translated into six languages- Arabic, Turkish, Vietnamese, Chinese (Mandarin), Italian and Greek. It was disseminated through AEF’s direct contact with SMEs, economic development units of NAGA local government members and the VECCI’s distribution network. AEF trained Environment Health Officers in local government and community workers within peak agencies in the six language groups to engage
In this pilot program, AEF worked with Moreland City Council and café owners to make a simple but effective change to the way coffee machines are used. Café owners often leave their coffee machines switched on overnight because the machines take a long time to warm up. Having staff arrive an hour early just to warm up the coffee machine is not cost-effective. The solution was to put the machines on timers so they can be switched on automatically at the right time. Because coffee machines use a lot of power, a simple plug-in timer is not sufficient; we had timers installed in the cafés’ switchboards by an electrician. The trial proved highly successful. The timer installations caused minimal interruption to the cafés’ operations and once set up, the savings were significant; café owners can expect to recoup the cost of the timer within a year. The idea has since
AEF played a key role in the delivery of Merri Community Health Services CEEP grant through being their technical advisors throughout the project. The CEEP grant (Community Energy Efficiency Program, delivered by the federal Department of Primary Industries) facilitated the installation of a new HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) system, new ducting and new lighting infrastructure. Results The project was delivered in conjunction with some building envelope modifications, and overall resulted in a dramatic improvement in the energy efficiency to the site (almost 30% reduction in energy consumption) in addition to improved comfort for staff and patients. The overall figures show a $5,878 reduction in energy costs, with a 16,219 kWh/year in energy savings for the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system, and 14,080 kWh/year in savings on lighting. AEF’s role We liaised between all of the stakeholders including architects, installers and MCHS staff to ensure that the energy
The Clean Energy Council contracted AEF to develop a guide to equip small and medium enterprises with the knowledge to better manage their electricity use. This includes how to understand electricity tariffs and daily electricity consumption profiles. The guide details targeted actions to effect demand-side management solutions and how they might be of financial benefit to specific business types. Partner and funding The project was undertaken with partners Entura, who undertook a background study to support the guide. It was part of a suite of Clean Energy Council projects funded through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. The guide is now available online.