The empower program was developed to assist small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs), with less than 200 employees, to improve energy efficiency. The program was developed with assistance from the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) and the Australian Government Department of Industry and Science.
Whilst this program was designed with the Australian market in mind, the resources are freely available, and can be applied to other smaller food and grocery manufacturing businesses around the world to save energy.
Food and grocery manufacturing SMEs are time and resource constrained and the rising cost of energy presents a significant barrier to improve business profitability and competitiveness. Many SMEs also struggle to access expert advice to improve energy efficiency through assessments and may benefit from monitoring and customized action plans that the empower program may provide.
The energy assessments identified on average 20 percent savings on energy bills through low cost and no cost projects for the SMEs. The program also offers free tools and fact sheets to assist businesses identify and explore energy saving opportunities:
Energy Saving Opportunity Finder - For businesses who are interested to learn about energy saving opportunities for their facilities, they can use the opportunity finder tool to help identify them. The tool also provides additional references to explore more about a specific opportunity.
Energy Cost Savings Tool - A comprehensive tool for food and grocery manufacturers interested in exploring energy saving opportunities. The tool facilitates the business through selection of measures to implement. The tools helps business:
- Conduct an initial evaluation of the potential energy saving opportunities for a facility and further refine those estimates;
- Prioritize the identified opportunities;
- Develop a quotation template to request quotes from suppliers; and
- Track the implementation of their projects.
Energy Management Fact sheets - The fact sheets cover various energy management topics and provide businesses with information to implement energy saving opportunities effectively. These topics include:
- Selecting the right equipment for the facility Understanding your energy costs – Gas & Electricity
- Prioritizing energy saving opportunities
- Securing support for your energy efficiency projects
- Energy Saving opportunities at the energy-water-waste nexus.
Energy Management Webinars - The webinars provide businesses with a basic understanding of technologies such as power factor correction, variable speed drives and renewables. The webinar recordings on the following topics are available on the program website:
- Drivers for Investing in Energy Efficiency Renewables in the food and grocery manufacturing
- Prioritizing Energy saving opportunities Securing support for your energy efficiency projects
- Waste to energy – Are biomass and biogas viable Energy options for your business?
- Basics of Power Factor Correction within businesses
- Basics of Variable Speed Drives within businesses
- Energy management learnings for food and grocery manufacturers.
To access the tools, factsheets or view the webinar recordings visit www.afgcempower.org.au
What does this mean for Cleanleap countries?
The website provides a great starting point for companies to work out where their energy costs lie in the manufacturing process, with lots of resources on how to reduce energy use and emissions. The site is focused on small to medium sized enterprises so its a good tool for companies in emerging economies who may also lack the resources that larger companies have on hand. The tips provided are practical and involve lower cost solutions.