SA businesses benefit from Energy Efficiency Expo and Seminar

The inaugural Energy Efficiency Expo and Seminar was recently hosted by ICN SA and the Department of State Development in Adelaide.

SA Premier Jay Weatherill opened the event, which attracted over 400 delegates and 47 exhibitors. Adelaide Lord Mayor Martin Haese also supported and presented at the event.

Addressing the audience, MC Bettina Venner, ICN SA Manager, said the expo was seeded from a desire to connect companies undergoing an energy productivity audit with relevant South Australian suppliers.

‘We used the term “energy efficiency” for this expo because we felt most people would understand it, she said. ‘Energy productivity would have also been a good term to use, as energy efficiency means using less energy, while energy productivity means doing more using the same or less energy.’

The expo provided an opportunity to showcase how local firms are leading the way with energy-efficiency products and services – everything from solar cells to advanced air conditioning systems, and the seminar imparted useful advice to large energy-consuming businesses, including case studies by Bickford’s, Golden North, Techno Plas and the University of Adelaide.

Highlights of the day included the launch of EnergySmart South Australia by Jon Dee, and the announcement by Adelaide Lord Mayor Martin Haese that the City of Adelaide had decided at the previous evening’s council meeting to become the first council in the State to offer the Building Upgrade Finance scheme, a mechanism that helps commercial landlords overcome financial barriers to making their buildings more energy and water efficient, making it easier for them to obtain private finance for upgrades, and on better terms than traditional finance.

SA Chamber of Mines and Energy CEO Rebecca Knol also presented on Australia’s first cross sectoral electricity purchasing group involving 27 South Australian businesses, noting that the group is closed to new entrants.

‘Energy costs are a key challenge for businesses today and ensuring that your business or building is more energy efficient can help reduce your costs and benefit the environment,’ Bettina said, adding that the SACOME announcement fit it well with Dee’s first step under EnergySmart - negotiate a better deal.

According to Dee, there is huge potential for South Australians to reduce their energy bills. Energy efficiency has already saved Australians billions of dollars and it has the potential to save billions more.