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AIG: Gas Prices are an Existential threat to Manufacturing Industry

29 June 2017

The Federal Minister for Energy, Josh Frydenberg, has participated in a frank discussion on the status of gas productivity in Australia and received a sobering claim from the CEO of the Australian Industry Group (AIG).

The Energy Efficiency Council (EEC) facilitated the industry event in Melbourne on June 29th with the Minister, and Innes Willox form AIG joined by Amandine Denis-Ryan from Climate Works and Ben Cirulis from the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage. The EEC later briefed its members on the key outcomes of the event that can be found here.

Mr Willox pulled no punches, stating plainly that current gas price rises pose an existential threat to manufacturing industries who rely on gas for production. He went on to call for the NSW and Victorian energy efficiency schemes to be extended to other states, and for the introduction of an industry support scheme similar to the previous Clean Technology Investment Program (CTIP).

Ben Cirulis, A/Strategic Delivery Manager, Sustainability Programs Branch at NSW Office and Environment and Heritage reported on the success of their recent Gas Efficiency Program that saw 71 projects implemented at a total cost of around $9m, including $1.5m government support, that will achieve an estimated $3.1m annual savings. That's an average simple payback under three years. Mr Cirulis highlighted the importance of supporting gas and steam sub-metering in order to identify project opportunities, and verify the energy savings achieved.

Climate Works presented findings from their research that Australia's gas consumption could be reduced by 30% through effective energy efficiency.

The event was concluded by EEC with the message that there is a huge and urgent opportunity to improve Australia's gas productivity with appropriate government support and incentives that would go a long way towards mitigating the threats currently being faced by industry.