Hundreds of Queensland farmers and manufacturers could slash tens of thousands of dollars from their power bills under extended energy audits, as part of the Palaszczuk Government’s Affordable Energy Plan.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, Minister for Energy Mark Bailey, and Minister for Police and Member for Morayfield Mark Ryan visited a nursery on Brisbane’s northside that has cut $12,000 a year from its power bill thanks to the Energy Savers Plus program.
“When Aspley Nursery went through the Energy Savers program, they spent $12,000 improving their efficiency – and made all of that back in savings within a year,” the Premier said.
“Their story is one that is being repeated at feedlots, cane farms, dairies and cotton farms across the state – and its one I want to see extended even further.
“That’s why my Government’s Affordable Energy Plan is now being extended for another 200 primary producers across the state, and we will match them dollar for dollar up to $20,000 for whatever energy improvements they need to make.”
“We’re also extending a matching program for heavy energy users like manufacturers to find savings of 10-40 percent.
“We will match those heavy users dollar for dollar on energy improvements they need to make up to $250,000.
“That frees their capital for growth and enables them to employ more Queenslanders.”
Energy Minister Mark Bailey said it was a great example of ways to help businesses grow by cutting costs.
“No-one wants to spend a cent more than they need to on electricity,” Minister Bailey said.
“This program is a great way to help all kinds of primary producers focus on their main game – feeding Australians and growing our export markets.
“It’s been so successful that we’re also extending it to the manufacturing industry.
“We’ll work with 30 large industrial customers to find and fund ways to reduce energy usage and increase productivity.”
Aspley Nurseries Owner Noel Percy said the program has set in train an ongoing series of cost savings.
“This business has been in our family for 66 years and I’ve learned you can never assume that what you did yesterday will be best practice tomorrow,” said Mr Percy.
“Our audit led us to install LED lights, more efficient pumps and solar hot water.
“Every cent we invested was recouped within a year.
“Now we are putting those savings into a large solar project at our second nursery that will cut its power bills by 50%.
“I’d encourage businesses across Queensland to check their electricity usage like we did – there are so many ways to save.”
The Energy Savers Plus Program is designed to help farmers identify where they can make significant savings for their on-farm energy usage.
The program provides farmers with personalised audits that identify opportunities to cut costs in areas such as on-farm heating, pumping, cooling, lighting, processing and household energy use. The program also provides helpful information on financing options to help with energy efficiency upgrades.
Findings have indicated farmers can reduce their electricity bill by up to 30 per cent through more efficient practices. Participating farms are selected by Ergon Energy in consultation with the Queensland Farmers Federation and other relevant agricultural industry bodies.
Case studies from the program are being shared with all farmers and irrigators across Queensland so farmers can identify industry best practice.
Case studies can be found at https://www.qff.org.au/newsroo