In 2012, Australia’s national inventory emissions per capita were roughly 24.4 tonnes carbon dioxide (CO2-e) per person. Only five countries in the world ranked higher; Bahrain, Bolivia, Brunei, Kuwait and Qatar.
The energy sector (stationary energy, transport and fugitive) is responsible for the majority of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for 76.9% (417.4 Mt CO2-e) of Australia’s net emissions in 2010, (excluding land use, land use change and forestry). 40.5 Mt was from fugitive emissions (related mainly to coal mining). Between 1990 and 2010, energy emissions increased by 44.2%.
The world’s cities occupy just two per cent of land mass yet are responsible for 80% of our carbon output. Councils in state capitals across Australia, such as Yarra City Council in Melbourne, City of Sydney and North Sydney Council, are taking welcome steps to reduce the carbon output of their cities. Regional areas, however, are often overlooked as potential spaces for carbon reduction.
Robin Archibald, COO of 3E Group, Australia’s largest independent ESCO (Energy Services Company), feels this is an oversight. “We have found some fantastic opportunities for energy reduction in regional areas”, says Robin. “Buildings in rural areas often tend to be older and less efficient, producing greater CO2 savings for clients.”
A concern of regional organisations, particularly in the public sector, is the cost associated with implementing energy efficiency plans in locations that are difficult to reach. 3E Group has found a cost effective way to deliver savings in these areas that rival the savings achieved in major cities. Charles Sturt University was impressed by the savings delivered to 50 of its buildings and Edward Maher, Area Manager CSU Green Division of Facilities Management, said:
3E Group have completed 3 rounds of energy conservation projects for Charles Sturt University at our campuses in Wagga Wagga and Bathurst covering more than 50 buildings. The total value of these projects was around $1M with savings achieved annually of $191,257 and 929 tonnes of CO2. A highlight of working with 3E Group in achieving these savings has been their genuine desire to achieve a good outcome for us as the client and for the environment.
3E Group has also worked with Public Sector organisation Queensland Health, to provide energy efficiency savings at the St. George and Roma Hospitals, saving the hospitals $83,868 per year and 387 tonnes of CO2. Additionally, 3E Group carried out a project for State Water in New South Wales to provide energy savings at their Sydney, Tamworth, Dubbo and Leeton sites. State Water owns, maintains, manages and operates major infrastructure to deliver bulk water to approximately 6,300 licensed water users on the state’s regulated rivers along with associated environmental flows.
It isn’t just public sector buildings that benefit from energy efficiency plans. Many public services companies, such as manufacturing, telecommunications and banking, are based in regional areas. These sectors benefit hugely from financial savings as costs are directly passed on to customers.
3E Group has recently delivered annual savings of $1,041,859 and 18,933 tonnes of CO2 for 287 nationwide Telstra telephone exchanges and $1,150,503 and 7,685 tonnes of CO2 for NAB. NAB has been operating on a carbon neutral basis since 1 July 2010. 3E Group implemented savings at 210 of NABs bank retail branches and business centres and 12 commercial office buildings in urban, suburban and rural areas in VIC, NSW, QLD, and WA. 120 of these sites were in regional towns.
To find out more about these projects or to discuss how 3E Group can help you save money and resources, phone 1300 55 77 64 or send us a message.