Round table discussion with Lily D’Ambrosio, Minister for Energy
Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio met Committee for Greater Frankston members at Seaford on 11 April to discuss escalating energy costs and how the state government can help businesses.
Round table discussion with Lily D’Ambrosio, State Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change
Wednesday 11 April 2018
Victoria’s Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio heard first-hand how energy costs are affecting the region’s businesses when she met C4GF members at Seaford Life Saving Club. Accompanying the minister were Carrum state MP Sonya Kilkenny, Nathan Epp of Sustainability Victoria (the state government authority that promotes sustainable use of resources), and Nichol Slaven of the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning’s new energy technologies branch.
Ms D’Ambrosio provided an overview of the state’s energy landscape and its policy focus on renewable energy before she heard from attendees including several successful companies based at Carrum Downs Industrial Estate. She said that in recent times “oversight of Australia’s energy capacity has been insufficient”. “Market conditions have not incentivised the building of new generation baseload capacity, and we have had perverse situations like the closure of the coal-fired Hazelwood station with only five months’ notice.
“States agreeing to a national energy policy will provide a better framework for long-term infrastructure reinvestment.”
C4GF CEO Ginevra Hosking spoke on local business concerns about rapidly rising electricity prices, their impact on business competitiveness, and how the lack of energy price certainty was clouding business growth decisions. “Many of our members have energy efficiency programs rolling out as they renew their equipment, but power prices have been rising faster than they can make headway,” she said.
C4GF member Rob Rossi, who operates three Tunnel Express car washes in the region, said his four main costs were land, labour, energy and water. “It is the variables in my business that I can’t control that are out of control,” he said, referring to energy and water. “High electricity costs are a barrier to further investment.”
Owen Nelson, CEO of award-winning food manufacturer Roma Food Products, told the minister that Roma’s next power contract was 66% higher than last year. The company had installed rooftop solar on warehouses. Mark Jacobsen, director of plastic recycler Replas, said the firm’s power costs had risen 280%. Replas had aggressively cut other costs and found energy efficiencies to cope with the increase. Joseph Eid, GM of long-time Carrum Downs manufacturer Nutech Paint, said the company had expanded threefold in recent years, which had required major upgrades of its electricity system, they have installed efficient warehouse lighting and are considering solar in their planned factory expansion.
Bringing good news, Ms D’Ambrosio said new renewable energy capacity projects being completed this year “should see downward pressure on Victorian power prices over the next two years”, according to the Australian Energy Market Commission
Attendees were told about Sustainability Victoria grants for energy audits, procurement strategies for bulk buying of electricity, and designing new industrial precincts that included local energy solutions.
Information for businesses wanting to improve their energy, materials and waste efficiency is at:
The Committee for Greater Frankston is hosting a business leaders Energy Roundtable meeting with the Hon Lily D’Ambrosio MP, Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change.
The Minister is keen to hear directly from local businesses on the topic of energy. The roundtable is an opportunity to share perspectives, explore challenges and understand what Victorian Government support is available to help manage your energy use.
Date: Wednesday 11 April
Time: 12.40pm arrival (for a 1pm start) – 2pm
Light refreshments will be served on arrival
Location: Seaford Life Saving Club- Community Room
Nepean Hwy, Seaford (adjacent to Beach Cafe Seaford
Regretfully this event is now fully subscribed- please contact email@example.com to register your interest in attending future energy discussions.