The imminent carbon tax was designed to motivate energy efficiency and green technological implementation in the industry and wider community, the idea being that by taxing those who pollute excessively, an incentive will be created to persuade energy efficient practices.
As it stands, this idea seems to be already working.
Energy provider Origin is currently seeing what has been labeled as a ‘mini retrofit boom’, with energy efficiency retrofits doubling in the past 12 months.
This boom includes work on more than 2,000 sites by the energy provider’s subsidiary Encompass and 45 retrofit developments planned for Sydney.
While energy efficiency is currently seen as an environment-oriented practice, Origin Energy group manager for business markets John Huggart explains that the company has been taking on retrofits such as these for some time now in order to maximise a building’s running potential.
“For a long time, we’ve been working with customers and sought to help them manage their energy needs and one way we can help them is to ensure they have energy efficiency programs in place,” he says.
Energy efficiency is handled by the company through a two-pronged delivery. First and foremost, energy use is monitored. Afterwards, Origin provides education to explain the building’s energy use and how this can be reduced, providing techniques that are then implemented.
“We give them access to real time data…what is going through their power meter,” says Huggart. “Unlike at home where it can take a while to get the bill, we can provide them with the information online, or through an iPad. They can monitor their usage.”
The second part of the delivery, the implementation of energy efficient tools, can involve anything from energy efficient lighting schemes to the implementation of a HVAC system.
Even though the carbon tax has its share of critics within the mainstream industry, the increase in energy efficiency retrofits would suggest that it is succeeding in its task to lower the country’s carbon output already.
Not only is this a positive result in helping to reach long-term carbon reduction targets, the added reliance on energy companies such as Origin for retrofitting work means that industries and business are economically stimulating one another.