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Bright sparks can save money

Monday, 4th April, 2011

SAVE: Energy efficiency consultant Paul Fetch (right) explains to Mayor Wincen Cuy (left) and BDT Managing Editor John Casey how savings can be made at their respective businesses. SAVE: Energy efficiency consultant Paul Fetch (right) explains to Mayor Wincen Cuy (left) and BDT Managing Editor John Casey how savings can be made at their respective businesses.

An energy efficiency scheme could save small businesses in Broken Hill up to 70 per cent on the lighting component of their energy bills alone, according to an energy consultant.

The Energy Efficiency for Small Business Program is available to businesses that use around $20,000 in electricity per year or have up to 10 full time employees.

It is being run by the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (DECCW).

The program offers a subsidised energy assessment and tailored energy action plan and up to 50 per cent off installation costs up to $5,000.

Co-ordination assistance by an assessor to install energy saving improvements can also be arranged at no cost to the business for up to four hours.

Businesses pay as little as $75 for the assessment, depending on electricity use.

Essential Energy consultant Paul Fetch said businesses who sign up for the scheme will have a complete assessment of their site covering items such as lights, air conditioning and refrigeration.

Following the assessment, recommendations are made to improve energy efficiency and some local businesses are already seeing the benefit.

"The energy audit of the BDT was a real eye-opener and we are looking at substantial savings thanks to this program," BDT Managing Editor John Casey said.

"With a few simple adjustments we are talking about reducing our energy bill by thousands of dollars each year and I am sure there are many other consumers out there who could benefit as well.

"Our company is also very conscious of our environmental obligations and any improvement we can make in that area is also important to us.

"It is an easy process that I would recommend to everyone, including homeowners."

Consultants have been in the area since Tuesday and have assessed numerous premises in Broken Hill, Menindee, Wilcannia and White Cliffs.

Mr Fetch said he had noticed a lot of small businesses were using items that could be replaced with more efficient methods.

"The most cost effective options (to save money and energy) is through lighting, (a lot of) businesses use (fluorescent lights) which have 40 Watt or 36

Watt tubes ... the single high efficiency T5 fluorescent virtually replaces the twin fluorescent fixtures," he said.

"This can save up to 70 per cent consumption on the lighting portion of (an electricity) bill."

Mr Fetch said old belt drive refrigerators could also be replaced with new technology.

He said the DECCW small business program will aim to reduce kilowatt per hour consumption.

Mr Fetch will return to Broken Hill later this month to undertake more assessments. Anyone interested in the Small Business Program should contact

Essential Energy on 13 23 91. Interested householders can phone 1800 ENERGY (363 749).

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