Three new experts have been elected to the board of the Energy Efficiency Council, adding what EEC president Tony Arnel says is “improved seniority” for the peak body’s leadership.
The new board members are Matthew Clark, Common Capital director; Stefan Schwab, Siemens Business Technologies executive general manager; and Mary Stewart, Energetics chief operating officer and executive director.
Dr Stewart was also elected to the position of board secretary.
Long-serving board member and Schneider Electric national solution segment manager Stuart MacFarlane was elected to the position of vice president.
Mr Arnel said 2017 had seen a huge fallout in terms of energy policy, particularly as “no one foresaw the cost increases”. The energy issue had also become extremely politicised, he said.
There is still a lack of policy certainty around renewable energy, which has created uncertainty in terms of investment.
“It’s been the year of living dangerously.”
In the energy efficiency space, he said there was a real opportunity in demand side solutions.
Before now, energy efficiency and demand side approaches had been “the poor cousin”.
Now, as more people come to understand the benefits of demand-side approaches, there is a real opportunity to decrease energy use, save dollars and produce jobs.
It is about far more than just LED bulbs or refitting buildings, he said. The Internet of Things and smart metering mean there is a great opportunity to “make some great leaps forward” in 2018.
Energy use has also become a boardroom issue for the first time.
Mr Arnel said the boardroom conversation was not just about security and reliability of supply, but about what organisations need to do to reduce use, whether that is across portfolios or buildings or equipment.
“2017 has been a year of immense turbulence in energy policy and markets,” Mr Arnel said.
“These are challenging times for businesses and households, but the Energy Efficiency Council is getting the message out that smart energy management is the best way for consumers to take control of their energy costs.”
EEC chief executive Luke Menzel said in the next six months the EEC would be releasing significant new guides for business on how to unlock the opportunity to reduce costs and drive down carbon emissions, as well as a best practice report on global energy efficiency policy.
“We’ll also release the second edition of the Australian Energy Efficiency Policy Handbook with detailed policy recommendations for state and federal governments,” Mr Menzel said.
“We already have the solution to Australia’s energy crisis, and it’s on the demand side.”