Electricity cost savings are a major focus at Council, with various departments working together to monitor energy consumption and adopt innovative practices.
The process is a three-pronged approach:
- ERM Power continually monitor Council’s energy performance and tariffs for its contestable sites and recommend changes to make savings;
- Peak Services recommend changes based on historical data to maximise savings
- Council staff identify operational modifications to essentially reduce electricity consumption and demand.
Cost savings in all areas
Council’s Strategic Procurement & Supply Business Partner Murray Bradford said considerable electricity cost savings have been made in all three areas.
“Late last year our records showed that in the space of six to nine months, we made $30,000 in savings just by monitoring tariffs and transferring Council sites over to the contestable market,” said Murray.
“Access to the contestable market means that once our energy use is over a certain amount, we’re allowed to go through the open market for electricity.”
Water Services Principal Electrical Engineer Lee Wieden reviews the suggested changes.
From an operational perspective he then identifies any modifications to essentially reduce electricity consumption.
“Water Services has the largest electricity costs within Council and when we upgrade sites we use this opportunity to minimise power costs,” he said.
Savings at upgraded plant
“A recent example is the upgrade of the Branyan Water Treatment Plant where we replaced the pump station switchboard and installed variable speed drives.
“This has resulted in a 28 percent reduction in electricity use for the entire plant per litre produced.”
Lee said there has also been a 55 percent reduction in electricity costs for this site per litre.
“We’ve saved approximately $175,000 in 2019, based on previous plant performance and power costs,” he said.
Murray said the recent approval of Council’s application to Ergon to change the tariffs on 14 of its sites will result in further savings.
“We anticipate savings from these changes will be in the vicinity of $50,000 from 1 December 2019 to 30 June 2020.”
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