Manufacturing is vital to the Australian economy, contributing around $100 billion (6.2 per cent) to Gross Domestic Product annually and supporting nearly 900,000 jobs, or around 7.4 per cent of total employment. Australian manufacturers are also the most energy intensive in the OECD, and account for around 40 per cent of Australia’s total natural gas consumption.
In a joint initiative, the CEFC, the Energy Efficiency Council and the Australian Industry Group developed Australian Manufacturing: Gas Efficiency Guide – a comprehensive resource identifying practical and proven strategies to deliver energy and cost savings across manufacturing operations.
The guide examines the energy needs of a wide range of manufacturers, from food and beverage production to metals fabrication, printing and furniture manufacturing. It finds significant opportunities to cut energy use, such as a meat processing plant which saved $45,000 per month by cutting gas use by 21 per cent, after upgrades to its boiler and steam facilities. A building products manufacturer saved $42,000 per year by installing a new control system on its boiler.
The guide identifies a range of proven technologies with the potential to cut gas consumption by 25 per cent. In the majority of cases, up-front investment costs were $50,000 or less, with the costs recovered within just five years. If the initiatives were all implemented at once, they would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 10 million tonnes a year, equivalent to taking more than two million passenger vehicles off the road, or meeting the electricity needs of 1.5 million homes.
The CEFC finances clean energy equipment upgrades and renewable energy installations in the manufacturing sector through tailored asset finance programs.