A round-up of energy-efficiency news from Australia and around the world.


Manufacturing Transition Program

The $50 million Manufacturing Transition Program provides grants to help manufacturing businesses become more competitive and sustainable. The program can support businesses that are building skills and/or expanding into higher value or niche manufacturing activities. Applications for Round 1 opened on 1 September 2014 and will close at 11.59 pm AEDT on Friday 24 October 2014.

Source: Business.gov.au

New rules proposed for distribution network prices

The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) has called for submissions on draft rules to change how distribution networks charge consumers for electricity. Distribution businesses would have guidance on setting prices that better reflect the cost of providing network services, which would be developed with greater transparency and input from consumers. The AEMC has consulted extensively with industry and consumers in the development of the draft determination, with further consultation before a final decision in November this year. Submissions on the draft determination close on 16 October 2014.

Source: AEMC

High-intensity blasting improves energy efficiency

By increasing the explosive energy in blasting operations, mines are able to produce a much finer ore which can be processed in the mill up to 40% faster. A new blasting technique pioneered by Australian company, Orica, has the potential to extend mining of material that was previously considered uneconomical or impractical.

Source: Energy Manager Today

Tasmanian energy strategy

The Tasmanian Government’s Energy Strategy Issues Paper is now available online. The paper highlights key issues for discussion with input from stakeholders and the public. Items discussed include sustainable electricity pricing, vulnerable customers, improving productivity and efficiency, economic development and the energy future.

Source: Tasmanian Government

Do more with less: One way to fix Australia's poor productivity

The most recent report from the Productivity Commission found that Australia’s productivity performance is significantly lower than that of most other developed economies. Businesses can increase productivity by improving the efficiency of their existing infrastructure, and this is where monitoring plays a critical role.

Source: Business Spectator

AusIndustry News begins

AusIndustry News is a new monthly eNewsletter which provides information on programs and services delivered by the Department of Industry. The first edition is now available, with news on free assistance to improve your business, the Industry Skills Fund, productivity innovations in the wine industry and more.

Source: AusIndustry

RET Review paper released

The Expert Panel’s report on the Renewable Energy Target Scheme has been publicly released. The panel received around 1,000 general submissions and held meetings with over 200 different stakeholders around the country to help inform its list of recommendations.

Source: Department of Environment

Solar pumps cut water bills for King Island dairies

Nine dairy farms are installing solar hot water systems following free energy assessments by the

Tasmanian Government. The dairies will be using evacuated tubes, which retain up to 95% of the energy they capture via passive sun tracking. As half of their power bills come from hot water use, the savings for dairies will be significant.

Source: Pump Industry Magazine

How to sell your energy projects internally

Get the attention of decision-makers who may not understand that energy efficiency leads to fast monetary returns. Marc Karell of Climate Change and Environmental Services in the US, discusses some of the most direct and effective ways to get your project funded. For example, emphasise the financial consequences of not doing the project.

Source: Energy Manager Today

Nine-storey apartment aims for nine-star rating

GreenEdge, a multi-residential project in Melbourne, is targeting a nine-star NatHERS energy rating for all of its apartments. The building is designed to minimise the need for air conditioning, with natural cross-ventilation.

Power from solar panels will reduce body corporate fees and hot water will be provided by boosted heat-pump technology. All apartments will be fitted with the best energy efficiency rated appliances.

Source: The Fifth Estate

Keeping cool in Manhattan

The Goldman Sachs Tower is one of several Manhattan buildings that uses ice water for cooling. Water tanks in the basement are frozen overnight and during the day the ice is used for air-conditioning. This technique saves Goldman US$50,000 per month through summer.

Source: Energy Manager Today

Wireless control for smart building systems

Wireless technology enables precise control of a building’s systems and devices, such as HVAC, lighting, fire safety, security and access. Wireless controls are also relatively easy to retrofit into older buildings. A new US report, ‘Wireless Control Systems for Smart Buildings’, reviews the many wireless systems now available for commercial buildings and the advantages they bring.

Source: Energy Manager Today