Country Energy monitors councils energy initatives

Country Energy would conduct an audit of council sites to identify energy saving opportunities, according to the company, as part of a pilot program in energy reduction. It is expected that the audit will be completed and a report submitted before the end of 2006.

Councils act on audit: Then the councils would have to implement energy saving solutions and consider the acquisition of more green power, which will enable them to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect the environment while optimising the use of ratepayer dollars.

$100,000 in savings and 14pc reduction: Following an energy audit of 16 Orange City Council sites, Energy Answers recommended a range of measures that would reduce energy consumption by 14 per cent and greenhouse gas emissions by 16 per cent. If all of the recommendations are implemented, a total saving of well over $100,000 could be achieved.

Methods of success: The recommendations ranged from the installation of power factor correction, energy efficient lighting and air conditioning to motor controls and cogeneration.

Somewhat simple solutions: The greatest savings are in heating, ventilation and air conditioning improvements, however, simple, low cost changes such as the rationalisation of office space, improved ventilation, replacing fluorescent lighting with higher efficiency tubes and solar roof paint can result in immediate savings.

More audits needed: The need for an increased focus on energy audits and demand site abatement was highlighted in a Country Energy-commissioned research study into the energy and water management measures of 153 New South Wales local councils and shires.

A fifth of councils on the ball: The 2005 benchmarking study revealed that one in five councils is highly active in energy and water management and a quarter of participating councils have an energy management plan. The 2006 study will be completed in October.

Reference: Media contact: Mike Hely, Manager Community Relations, Far North Coast, ph: (02) 6643 9483 or 0427 108 089. For further information regarding energy answers, phone 1800 206 166 or visit http://www.countryenergy.com.au/energyanswers

Erisk Net, 17/8/2006

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