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Bundaberg businesses plug into new energy program

Three Bundaberg businesses will take part in a $16 million program to help large electricity customers in regional Queensland reduce their electricity bills and more efficiently use energy.

Minister for Energy Mark Bailey and Member for Bundaberg Leanne Donaldson visited Walkers Engineering in Bundaberg North today to announce the three businesses selected to participate in the Large Customer Adjustment Program which was recently expanded under the Palaszczuk Government’s Affordable Energy Plan.

The three Bundaberg businesses selected to take part in the trial are:

  • Walkers Engineering
  • Isis Sugar Mill
  • Queensland Sugar Terminals

Mr Bailey said he understood the hit to the hip pocket electricity price rises have but wanted to assure regional Queenslanders that the Palaszczuk Government was doing everything it could to shield Queenslanders from a broken National Electricity Market (NEM).

“Because the Abbott and Turnbull Governments have left energy policy in such a mess for so long, electricity prices have risen across the country,” Mr Bailey said.

“It’s only because we own our electricity assets, compared to other states, that we’ve been able to reinvest the dividends to back consumers, including this program we’re talking about today.”

Mr Bailey said the program is expected to run for 12 months.

“Bundaberg Walkers Engineering Services, Isis Central Sugar Mill and Queensland Sugar Terminals were selected after eligible businesses, across a wide range of industries, were invited to apply to be part of the program,” Mr Bailey said.

“Initial site visits suggest the energy audit provided to these companies could identify significant energy savings and smooth their transition to new tariffs.

“These businesses employ up to 650 people and we want to help them reduce their electricity costs so they can continue to provide a significant contribution to the local Bundaberg and Queensland economies.”

Member for Bundaberg Leanne Donaldson said the program would provide these large customers with free and independent energy audits.

“This includes comprehensive advice on energy management strategies and the standard electricity tariff best suited to their particular circumstances,” Ms Donaldson said.

“For example, Bundaberg Walkers Engineering could benefit through improvements to their induction heater control systems; Queensland Sugar Limited could benefit through new standby generation equipment and the Isis Central Sugar Mill could benefit through pump, switchboard and control system upgrades.

“What the Palaszczuk Government also announced this week is that we will provide a 50% co-contribution to implement recommendations (up to $250,000 per customer). This is expected to deliver savings of 10% to 40% for large industrial customers.

“This is fantastic news for these businesses.”

Mr Bailey said the Palaszczuk Government was trialling innovative ways to help large electricity customers adjust to more modern electricity tariffs.

“Apart from potentially saving participants money and improving their energy efficiency, the program will also provide information that can be used by other large customers affected by changes in regional business tariffs,” Mr Bailey said.

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