Electricity use was recorded as the highest energy cost in Australian apple, pear, summerfruit and cherry industries according to a recent energy efficiency information survey. The survey was conducted under a grant from the Commonwealth Governments Energy Efficiency Information program and is a partnership between Apple and Pear Australia Limited (APAL), Summerfruit Australia Limited (SAL) and Cherry Growers Australia Inc. (CGA). APAL Industry Services Manager Annie Farrow who is leading the Watts in your Business project said the survey results validate the need for an energy efficiency information program across the temperate fruit industries. The results confirm that while growers have good intentions to reduce energy costs many dont really know how to start saving energy, Ms Farrow said. Nearly 50 per cent of respondents were not aware there is government assistance to help small and medium sized businesses adopt energy saving technologies and more than 50 per cent of growers were unable to predict their energy use costs. A total of thirty energy audits will be conducted across Australia and will be divided into 10 regions:
- Victoria: five audits in the Goulburn Valley (Australias largest fruit production region); three in southern Victoria; three in Swan Hill (focus on summerfruit)
- New South Wales: one audit in Batlow; three in Young (focus on cherries); three in Orange
- Queensland: three audits in the Stanthorpe area
- Tasmania: three audits in the greater Hobart region
- South Australia: three audits in the Adelaide Hills
- Western Australia: three audits in the south west of the state
Ms Farrow said: Audit sites were selected by approaching small, medium and large businesses who responded to the survey. We have attempted to seek a good representation of businesses across Australia and were mindful of representing summerfruit and cherry growers as much as possible. In Young, New South Wales and Swan Hill, Victoria, enterprises specialising in cherry and summer fruit production (respectively) were chosen on a small, medium and large basis. The idea is to audit a good mix of farm sizes that produce a wide range of fruit products, she said. Data from the audits will be compiled into fact sheets and case study reports and will be available via the APAL website as they become available. The findings will also be communicated via 10 regional on-farm energy efficiency walks. The walks will provide growers with the chance to see first-hand how to save money within their own businesses. ends Click here to view the survey results. For further information contact APAL Industry Services Manager Annie Farrow on firstname.lastname@example.org or 03 9329 3511.