20 Years of 3E Group: Five Moments and Projects that put the Company on the Map

The year was 2002. Terms like Net Zero and sustainability hardly existed back then. The effects of climate change and global warming were only being sporadically discussed. But this was also the year when 3E Group was founded. Contrary to how the majority of businesses were operating, 3E Group was up and running fighting climate change and creating a pathway for Australia to progress towards Net Zero. From starting with a single Emissions Reduction Solution (lighting) in 2002 to now delivering large-scale Energy Performance Contracts (EPCs), Energy-as-a-Service (EaaS) projects, and being nationally recognised for promoting sustainability, 3E Group has come a long way over its 20-year plus journey. Needless to say, the journey has been filled with lots of memories. 

We’ve always been passionate about our goal to help organisations take action against climate change through energy efficiency and emissions reduction measures. Two decades later and counting, the 3E Group team is still focused on delivering sustainable, energy-efficient outcomes for our clients and partners. As we continue to grow, our team of experts continues to share their industry-proven strategies to ensure long-term results and excellent value.

Today, let’s look back at five moments that helped 3E Group grow into a leading Emissions Reduction Company, operating in Australia, New Zealand, and the United States. While there are numerous milestones, we’ve selected five key moments in the company’s history.

2003 – Helping TAFEs Achieve Energy Efficiency and Reduce GHG Emissions 

Since we opened up business in 2002, 3E Group has helped businesses save money while helping the environment. Back then, our Light Eco (a fluorescent tube energy saver) did its job by reducing energy bills and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In what was one of our first major projects, our team helped TAFEs achieve real energy savings and reduce their carbon footprint. This initiative helped them conserve energy and decrease power bills.  

But we didn’t stop with just installing Light Eco on TAFEs in the North Coast, South Sydney, and Illawarra. We also offered to plant a native seedling for every tonne of carbon emission a TAFE’s site saves. 3E Group was able to plant and donate (on behalf of the TAFE) 982 trees in 2003. 

Fast forward more than a decade later, 3E Group continued its vision to deliver EPCs to TAFEs who aim to reduce their carbon emissions and operating costs. Thanks to our team of experts, the Chisholm Institute’s 65 buildings across 6 campuses, were able to save up to 2,000 tonnes of CO₂-e emissions annually.  

2009 – 3E Group Becomes a Founding Member of the Energy Efficiency Council (EEC) 

For a company that started in Sydney’s north-western suburbs, it has been a huge honour to be part of the Energy Efficiency Council’s founding. We, the founding members of EEC, came from diverse backgrounds but we all aimed to provide a reliable, affordable, and sustainable energy system for all Australians.  

Aside from these, 3E Group continues to work with the Council, and its partner members, to advocate for smart energy management, teach business organisations to choose the right energy management investments, ensure that all policies follow global standards and practices, and advocate for continuing professional development for all energy professionals across Australia. Smart energy management should be the heart of the country’s economy to propel it into a healthier, decarbonised future for all Australians.

This was the period when 3E Group also started taking up landmark projects. Back in 2010, the company was awarded the energy performance contract (EPC) and delivered an Energy and Water Efficiency Retrofit for 47 of City of Sydney’s Buildings and Operations. This was one of the most ambitious projects for any Australian government. It was a milestone project for 3E Group as this was a part of the City’s commitment to improving its performance under the 2030 Suitable Sydney vision. 

2018 – Our First Energy Services Agreement (ESA) in Australia 

3E Group have pioneered innovation in energy services delivery and funding solution. Back in 2013, after many months of development and consultation with company lawyers and one of Australia’s ‘Big Four’ accounting firms, 3E Group launched a new service to the market – the fully OPEX, 3E Services Agreement – a service agreeement and financial structure that keeps capital expenditure (capex) items off balance sheet.

While the ESA has always been a viable mechanism, the Australian market wasn’t ready and relatively conservative as compared to the US market. Since 2014, 3E Group has had significant success with implementing ESAs to dozens of organisations.

In 2018, 3E Group relaunched its ESA in the Australian market and was successful in implementing the first ESA in Australia at 99 St George Tce, Perth.

The owners of a 50-year-old landmark building in Perth’s CBD knew they needed to upgrade their building – which at the time had a Zero Star NABERS rating, a very low occupancy/high vacancy rate, and were wary of getting themselves into debt to invest in energy efficiency and sustainability improvements.

3E Group was successful in raising the building’s NABERS baseline from zero (0) rating to 4 stars through the innovative ESA, while ensuring the owners did not incurr any debt. 

Since we understood their fears and concerns, we explained how our ESA works and the immediate benefits of having a 4.0 Star NABERS Rating for their business’s bottom line. 3E Group assured the building’s owner that it would be a zero-dollar upfront cost because it would be funded by our 10-year ESA, which ensures a cash-flow positive outcome. 

The property manager, Collier’s International’s Building & Sustainability Manager, Patrick Jeannerat, worked with 3E Group and entrusted us with its modern upgrades. Mr. Jeannerat is satisfied with increased market demand for the 13-storey property, after earning its new NABERS ratings, and a significant decrease in operating overhead costs.  

3E Group Received Significant Media Attention for its Project at 99 St George Terrace, Perth


2021 – Pro-Invest Group’s Holiday Inn Express Becomes the First Australian Hotel to Achieve Carbon Neutral Certification from NABERS 

Despite the challenges of the global pandemic, we move forward and continue to help organisations transition to net zero emissions. Since the EEC calls for its members to build a stronger and cleaner post-pandemic Australia, we supported Pro-Invest Group to accomplish an Australian first: to become the first hotel to achieve Carbon Neutral status. 

Holiday Inn Newcastle Became the First Hotel in Australia to Obtain Carbon Neutral Building Certification Under the NABERS Climate Action Pathway

Pro-Invest Group’s focus on ESG and active participation in GRESB makes them an ideal partner for 3E Group to work with an organisation that aims to become net zero by the next decade. Our team of Net Zero Experts provided a strategic framework to ensure that the company’s net zero strategies will come to fruition.  

The disruptions caused by the COVID-19 resurgence didn’t deter Holiday Inn Express’ (Newcastle) from becoming Carbon Neutral-Certified from NABERS and winning the Green Hotel of the Year Award or the Finder Green Awards. 

In fact, the Net Zero Strategy Framework we developed is now being considered by Pro-Invest Group for its entire hotel portfolio to achieve its Net Zero 2030 goal. 

2022 – Winning the Promoting Sustainability Award (State Winner, VIC) Telstra Business Awards 

Ask any business leader and they will tell you that winning an award is not just a feather in an organisation’s hat: it’s the culmination of all the challenges and hard work the organisation endured till awards night. 


Out of more than 24,000 nominees across the country, 3E Group was chosen as a finalist for the State of Victoria. Receiving recognition as a finalist was big news for everyone and we were happy about it. But winning the State Award (VIC) for Promoting Sustainability was a surreal moment. Receiving and physically holding that award celebrates our collective efforts as a company, which also inspires us to continue our mission to deliver energy conservation services and independent resource management to all our clients. 

There are numerous more milestones related to our work of implementing more than 3,000 projects since 2002; honourable mentions include: 

  • Implementing innovative emissions reduction solutions at Primo Smallgoods and winning the ‘Best Industrial Energy Efficiency Project 2014’
  • Winning eight out of eight consecutive EPCs issued by the NSW Department of Education
  • Eliminating more than 9,100 tonnes of CO₂-e across six local government councils in Melbourne (EAGA)
  • Implementing more than 21 MWh of Solar capacity across 250 plus schools in Queensland

3E  Group‘s Commitment For the Future

As we celebrate over 20 years of reducing energy costs and emissions for private and public sector organisations, we remain focused on our core passion of ‘Imagineering a Sustainable Future’ and partnering with organisations to achieve their long term sustainability targets through innovative, scalable Net Zero solutions. 

To find out more or to discuss your energy efficiency and emissions reduction requirements, Connect with us or call 1300 557 764. 


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