Operations Manager Luke Rhodes was sitting in his office at Tridon Australia, a manufacturer and distributor of automotive parts, when he got an unusual email.
It was from the utility company asking if something was wrong at their Sydney factory – the energy bill in one building had dropped a staggering 65% in four weeks.
Instead of being worried, Rhodes and his colleagues were amused. “It was pretty funny,” he recalls. They were also pleased that their strategy to make their large industrial site more energy efficient had paid off.
Over the past year, Tridon Australia had been implementing a range of energy savings measures including LED lighting and solar panels. The massive drop in energy, however, was largely attributed to their new compressed air system, which the NSW government partially paid for.
Tridon is one of around 90 sites across NSW —nearly half of them in the regions— which have taken advantage of government funding which helps businesses be more energy efficient. Manufacturers have upgraded their boilers and refrigeration systems, installed new meters and looked into improving their processes.
For Tridon, their old compressed air system was the problem. Rhodes says it was pumping around 55 to 60 kilowatts while the rest of the facilities —air conditioning, heating, everything included— were around 18 to 20 kilowatts.
He says getting the government funding was easy and “serendipitous” as it happened just as they were assessing their compressed air system. The NSW government contributed $10,000 towards the project and Tridon pitched in $32,000. With the money they will save from their electricity bill dropping, Rhodes says they will break even in two years.
“I back the program 100% just for the sheer volume of money and energy you can save. It’s a no-brainer, really. I didn't anticipate that we’d get this much energy savings, so it's been fantastic.”