CCN talks to the experts about how to manage the current energy crisis seeking out business tips that can make a real difference.
Wattwatchers chief of innovation, Grace Young, said businesses need to measure energy use in real time.
“For some businesses, demand charges can also be a killer so it is important to monitor energy use,” Young said.
“Also it’s not just about the direct cost of electricity, many businesses have to report on their carbon emissions, and often electricity consumption is a big contributor.
“This is why it is important to have solid energy monitoring in place, it is key.”
Enosi CEO, Steven Hoy, said businesses need to pay attention to their bottom line and their ESG responsibilities when they contract for energy supply.
Hoy said to lock in a supply linked Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) that is matched to renewable sources.
“This will capture the lower cost of renewable power and support further investment in renewables. This is known as a 24/7 PPA and it is becoming more popular among ESG leaders overseas.”
Ask Australian National University research fellow, Dr Kathryn Lucas Healey, for a business tip and she can reduce it to two words: energy efficiency.
“It’s not innovative or exciting but energy efficiency is the first thing that should be addressed,” she said.
Wherever possible, use solar, that’s the advice of Solar Analytics CEO, Stefan Jarnason.
“Put as much solar on your roof as you can fit and do it ASAP,” he said.
“Then use solar analytics to find an awesome electricity deal.”
Australian Alliance for Energy Productivity (A2EP) CEO, Jarrod Leak, said good maintenance can make a difference.
“Fix compressed air leaks and insulation damage, maintenance matters,” he said.
“Get sub-metering installed for electricity, steam, gas and water because that will reveal waste, often fixed by simple behavioural changes like closing cool room doors.”
Redback Technologies director of engineering, Adrian Knack, said the goal is to improve self sufficiency.
“Rely less onthe energy system to meet your demands by reducing your overall demand, switch to solar energy during the day and complement your solar with a battery system for peak demand times or when the grid is down,” he said.
Swan Foresight director, Raja Ravi, said in the short term invest in surge protectors and idolators to keep equipment from malfunctioning whenever there is a sudden change in voltage.
Long term, Ravi said to engage with the new business models like peer to peer markets.
University of Wollongong research fellow, Jon Knott, saidbatteries are not just a source of backup power.
“Using batteries to store excess solar-generated energy during the day then using it at night is one way to lower grid consumption (and usage charges) while maintaining operations,” Knott said. “Another great use for batteries in businesses that have high ‘spikes’ of energy usage is to use batteries just to supply those spikes.
“This will lower network charges and save on bills.”
To find out more about the latest renewable energy trends and energy management technologies attend Energy Next, a free industry event to be held in Sydney from 19-20 July, 2022.