Jillian Broadbent, chair, Clean Energy Finance Corporation with a question at the EEC conference in Sydney

It was a packed house at the National Energy Efficiency conference that kicked off in Sydney on Tuesday at the Swissotel in the CBD.

Opening the event was NSW Environment Minsiter Rob Stokes who is fast turning into the poster boy for the environment thanks in large part to the abysmal record of his political compatriots in the fossil fuel governments elsewhere around the country, and as much as you can be when your state is still fossil fuel addicted.

Today Stokes said NSW would strengthen its Energy Savings Scheme. The scheme, which would to help homes and businesses in NSW shave $1.4 billion from energy bills over the next decade, will be extended to 2025.

Hugh Saddler, pitt&sherry
Questions from the floor
There might be debate about how much electricity consumption had fallen but what was more important was the departure from trend

According to acting chief executive of the EEC Luke Menzel, the news is welcome in an environment where gas prices are being forced up by global competition.

“The NSW Government has become Australia’s leader in energy policy,” Menzel said. “While other governments are making policy on the run, the NSW Government is making steady, sensible decisions to keep energy affordable.”

The conference comes just days before the global leaders meet for the G20 in Brisbane starting on Saturday and after a recent report by the International Energy Agency found that energy efficiency has become the world’s “first fuel”, Menzel said.

Among key issues discussed at one of the morning sessions was the fall in demand for electricity, though one speaker, quipped that the next lot of data would show that electricity demand was on the rise again.

According to principal consultant, energy strategies at pitt&sherry Hugh Saddler, while there might be debate about the quantity of electricity falls it was “the departure from trend is really significant”.

The falls in electricity consumption was also not so much due to a fall in manufacturing, as is often cited, Saddler said.

This was “misleading”. Apart from aluminium smelters the manufacturing businesses falling away were not particularly electricity intensive. “Of course some of them are very big so they are not so negligible but that’s not a very big factor in the decline of electricity use.”

Biggest falls though were in the residential sector. This was because it was easier for consumers to change behaviour than it was for businesses for which electricity consumption was closely linked to business processes, so was therefore more difficult to change.

For residential heating and cooling, Saddler predicted reverse cycle airconditioning would emerge as the superior option. In terms of both cost and emissions.

“It’s better in cost and in emissions with the new technologies. It might be displacing gas.”

The rise of electric vehicles was also an “interesting” trend to watch, he said.

Morning sessions included chair Clean Energy Finance Corporation Jillian Broadbent, who along with general manager, energy productivity branch, Department of Industry

More than 200 attendees

Helen Bennett and national solution segment manager, Schneider Electric Stuart Macfarlane, discussed the global transition under way from subsidies used to overcome the barriers to energy efficiency to today’s trend towards a “market transformation” approach designed to create a “sustainable market” for efficiency.

Other conference speakers include chief executive of Australian Industry Group Innes Willox;  manager for South Asia, International Energy Agency Dagmar Graczyk,Tom Grosskopf, director, Metro Branch, Regional Operations, NSW Office of Environment and Heritage; Carlos Flores, team leader development and innovation, NABERS; Bob Sharon, director, Green Global Solutions; executive general manager, asset management Energex  Peter Price, director, projects and advisory services, Energy Action Dr Paul Bannister, and executive director, Energetics, Jonathan Jutsen.

One reply on “Conference: Energy Efficiency Council draws packed crowd in Sydney”

  1. According to principal consultant, energy strategies at pitt&sherry Hugh Saddler

    “For residential heating and cooling, Saddler predicted reverse cycle airconditioning would emerge as the superior option. In terms of both cost and emissions.”

    My comments to this
    With every increasing long duration temperatures, what happens when power is rationed under the pretext of equipment breakdown, which means roof solar power panels will not operate, and additionally almost all solar panels experience a drop in generating capacity.

    What happens when the power goes out and over insulated homes become death traps for some people because their homes start to heat up with no cooling devices.

    The million dollar Government Department CSIRO, 5 Star Evaluation report has proven that excessive bulk insulation (the same insulation as specified for the failed Home Insulation Program ‘R’ 3.5) has increased cooling costs in Melbourne 37%, Brisbane 28%, Adelaide 11%. which means increased greenhouse gases, something the Government pretends it wants to reduce.

    Although thicker insulation provided winter benefits, the biggest problem is increasing warming temperatures during winter periods will substantially reduce this benefit which is really NO BENEFIT.

    In real terms IT IS THE HIGH TEMPERATURES AND MORE DEPENDENCY ON COOLING DEVICES as Mr Saddler said.

    What about making homes genuinely more energy efficient, so when the power goes off the occupant can survive. Like using radiant barriers at roof level, in really hot climates an additional radiant barrier at ceiling level, plus properly installed radiant barriers on the outside walls, because these reflect in coming solar radiation and don’t store heat like bulk insulations.

    What almost everyone in industry and Government conveniently forgets, is what happens in power outages, solar panels won’t function and with excessive insulation in hot periods homes will heat very quickly, AND DEATHS WILL OCCUR.

    Then, we will have another 27 million dollar Royal Commission to establish WHY, with ultimately no one blamed or accountable.
    As the Department of Industry said, Royal Commissions provide recommendations, no one has to act on those recommendations.

    My point, why have them, if Government don’t act, worse taxpayers paid 27 million dollars to find what went wrong during the failed Home Insulation Program, basically ignoring the root causes, too much insulation, electrical issues, more so unprotected cabling that hasn’t been policed for years.

    A WASTE OF TAXPAYERS.

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