WA companies report on energy

14/01/2009 - 22:00

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SOME of the state's biggest users of energy have begun publicly reporting their energy consumption, many for the first time, under the federal government's Energy Efficiency Opportunities Act.

WA companies report on energy

SOME of the state's biggest users of energy have begun publicly reporting their energy consumption, many for the first time, under the federal government's Energy Efficiency Opportunities Act.

About 210 public and private corporations around Australia, including about 20 based in Western Australia, are mandated to report their energy consumption under the EEO Act, as well as identify potential energy efficiency and cost-saving measures.

Among those to have already publicly released a report is Wesfarmers Ltd, one of the country's largest energy users.

According to its first report, Wesfarmers consumed 31.07 petajoules of energy in 2007-08, almost 72 per cent higher the previous year's consumption, largely as a result of the Coles acquisition.

To put that into context, that is enough to power 621,000 households, or about 90 per cent of the total number of households in WA, for a year.

The group identified six energy efficiency opportunities with a total estimated energy saving of 700 gigajoules a year.

WA Sustainable Energy Association chief executive Ray Wills said companies such as Wesfarmers, Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton, had been recognised as early movers in reporting and acting on energy efficiency and emissions.

"There's no doubt that energy efficiency reduces a company's emissions and makes them more prepared for the emissions trading system," Mr Wills told WA Business News.

"We've been advocates of energy efficiency because it reduces the energy bill from year to year.

"That's economic preparedness and provides economic moving room to embrace the emissions trading scheme and get on with the job of reducing greenhouse gas emissions."

Mr Wills added that the public element of the reporting could have an influence on business.

"If you're having to be transparent with emissions then clearly ... it can become very important for business to be doing it from an economic point of view but also to be seen to be doing it from a community perspective," he said.

Corporations that use more than 0.5PJ of energy a year - about the same amount of energy used by 10,000 households - are required to report under the EEO Act.

Corporations using more than 0.5PJ a year may typically have an annual energy bill of more than $1.5 million for gas, $5 million for electricity, $11 million for diesel fuel or $13 million for unleaded petrol.

The EEO Act was one of the two acts introduced by the federal government in preparation for the start of the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme next July.

The other, the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act, requires mandatory reporting and public disclosure of corporate greenhouse gas emissions and energy production and consumption.

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