Switching on to Energy Savings & Emissions Reductions
As Sustainable Victoria launches its CitySwitch programme to help offices save energy, Siemens and the Sustainable Melbourne Fund have joined together to make businesses run better with less energy without having to find the upfront capital. And as the Carbon Reduction Conference gets underway, listed Australian company Carbon Conscious shows that it pays for businesses to invest in offsetting their emissions even before the Governments gets its CPRS underway.
19 APRIL 2010
CitySwitch Green Office is an innovative, national program that can help your organisation reduce its energy usage and save money on energy costs. This free program offers support and advice to make your office more energy efficient, and can help enhance and promote your credentials in the sustainability area.
To celebrate the partnership between Sustainability Victoria and the Cities of Melbourne and Port Phillip, a launch event was held on 20 April as part of the first day of the Carbon Reduction Conference (visit).
The new action-focussed workbook will be presented at this free event, along with information on how CitySwitch can assist your organisation. Gavin Jennings, Minister for Environment and Climate Change, the Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Robert Doyle, and the Mayor of Port Phillip, Frank O’Connor spoke at the launch.
CitySwitch Victoria also d the introduction of a rebate for NABERS Energy ratings. The rebate will cover 50 percent of the cost of an assessment for CitySwitch Signatories, up to a maximum of $1000.
This rebate offer is available for organisations from the City of Melbourne or City of Port Phillip that sign-up to CitySwitch before 30 June 2010 (or until funding lasts).
To claim a rebate, a Signatory must provide CitySwitch with a copy of their NABERS Energy rating certificate, a copy of the rating invoice from their assessor and an invoice (addressed to the City of Melbourne) for the rebate amount they wish to claim for.
CitySwitch Green Office is a national tenant energy efficiency program run in partnership between the cities of Sydney, North Sydney, Parramatta, Willoughby, Canberra, Brisbane, Adelaide, Melbourne and Perth along with state government agencies, the NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change & Water and Sustainability Victoria.
With a geographical reach representing approximately 70 percent of Australia’s office space, the program works with tenants to improve office energy efficiency, thereby reducing the CO2 emissions attributed to global warming. One of the main reasons for choosing this way to bring about environmental action, is that tenants can influence up to 50 percent of total energy use in office buildings.
Peter Balsarini, CEO of Carbon Conscious, one of the keynote speakers at the Carbon Reduction Conference in Melbourne, will be telling delegates of the advantages for companies if they act as soon as possible?
He should know as Carbon Conscious has been successful in getting major investment in offsets from the likes of Origin Energy and BP.
He says there is an early mover advantage, as there is a limited supply of Forestry AEU’s (Australian Emission Units). It also helps to secure a supply of forestry permits and develop relationships with the very limited number of major companies capable of producing large scale commercial .
And no doubt, as Origin and BP have discovered, there is an opportunity to gain competitive advantage.
Carbon Conscious Limited was one of the first to be awarded approved Abatement Provider
status under the Federal Government’s Greenhouse FriendlyTM Program (GFP) for its forest
sink Carbon Capture Program. This certifies Carbon Conscious’ business model of supplying low cost accredited carbon credits to Australian companies expected to have mandatory liabilities under the new Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS).
This is achieved via the development of native mallee eucalypt forest estates in the wheatbelt areas of Australia.
As Mr Balsarini said at the time of gaining accreditation: “As Australia moves to include forestry offsets as a tradable permit under the CPRS, we anticipate compliance standards will be tightened. To ensure the integrity of the CPRS system it is crucial that a strong accreditation process is developed. The AGO accreditation is the obvious standard for the Federal Government to base this process upon”.
To gain accreditation under the Greenhouse FriendlyTM Program, Carbon Conscious was
required to demonstrate integrity and credibility in relation to carbon accounting. The process
required demonstration of verifiable measurement, monitoring procedures and systems. It
included significant input by industry expert’s URS Forestry and was independently reviewed by
government approved abatement system verifier GHD.
19 April 2010:
Siemens and the Sustainable Melbourne Fund have joined together to give Melbourne businesses the opportunity to improve their energy efficiency, cut utility bills and reduce their environmental impact without having to find the upfront capital.
The combined offering from Siemens and the Sustainable Melbourne Fund will enable businesses to increase their energy efficiency and reduce their operating expenses, making them more competitive,” explained Siemens chairman and managing director, Albert Goller.
The Sustainable Melbourne Fund provides capital up to a total of $500,000 for existing buildings who meet the Fund criteria regarding sustainability.
For interested businesses, Siemens prepares an obligation-free preliminary analysis to evaluate potential energy savings. The Sustainable Melbourne Fund then reviews the report for appropriate eligibility, and subject to a favourable independent credit risk and due diligence assessment, approves the project for investment.
If the project is approved, Siemens conducts a detailed facility study and commences the implementation of the energy efficiency work. These works can be provided through a guaranteed savings arrangement under an Energy Performance Contract (EPC).
Siemens will now be able to provide businesses with guaranteed annual savings to recover project costs, along with measurement and verification of the project throughout the savings guarantee period.
Established by the Melbourne City Council in 2004, the Sustainable Melbourne Fund has already provided significant financial assistance for private projects that enhance the environment and deliver economic benefits to the City of Melbourne.
“Energy Performance Contracting is a growing trend for businesses wanting a smart and affordable building improvement solution that saves energy and money. Siemens looks forward to assisting businesses wanting to invest in environmental sustainability,” said Goller.
Any large building or group of buildings is an ideal candidate for performance contracting, including council, state and federal government sites, schools, hospitals, sporting facilities, commercial office buildings and light industrial facilities.
Siemens has already provided customised performance-based energy and environmental solutions to more than 2,000 businesses around the world.
About the Sustainable Melbourne Fund
The Sustainable Melbourne Fund was established by the Melbourne City Council as an innovative and forward-focused initiative to provide financial assistance and investment in specific projects that enhance the environment, community and economic benefits for the people of Melbourne. For more information, please go to
About Siemens in Australia and New Zealand
Commencing in Australia in 1872 and New Zealand in 1876, Siemens is now recognised as of one of the most reliable and trusted brands in the region. With well-established businesses in both Australia and New Zealand, Siemens is a diversified technology-based solutions provider specialising in the areas of water, energy, environment, healthcare, productivity, mobility, safety and security. In fiscal 2009 (September 2009), Siemens achieved AUD 1.089 billion in sales with 2,816 employees. Globally, revenue from the Environmental Portfolio totalled around EUR 23 billion (2009), making Siemens the world’s largest supplier of eco-friendly technologies. In the same period, the company’s products and solutions enabled customers to reduce their CO2 emissions by 210 million tonnes equalling the combined annual CO2 emissions of New York, Tokyo, London and Berlin. Siemens in Australia and New Zealand is part of the Siemens global network of innovation which operates in 190 countries throughout the world.