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Materials and Energy Efficiency Projects Funding Awarded

Genesis Now is delighted by the news that 8 of our clients have been successful in applying for capital grants, under Sustainability Victoria’s Smarter Resources Smarter Business  program. This represents 12% of the all 69 successful companies. This builds on our success in earlier grant rounds. The efficiency projects include both materials and energy savings, in industries as diverse as poultry farming, timber milling, abalone processing, home building, wine, and recreation. We are grateful for the vision of Sustainabilty Victoria and the Victorian Government, and for the faith that our clients placed in us, allowing us to work with them to identify and evaluate the resource efficiency opportunities, and to build compelling business cases. Now our focus will shift to assisting these innovative companies to implement the resource efficiency projects. We will work hard to maximise the savings, by fine-tuning designs, specifying and tendering the works, commissioning and monitoring the results. This practical implementation work has the dual benefits of savings resources and costs,  and providing a practical foundation for future opportunity identification projects. The full list of successful projects and a description of the  Smarter Resources Smarter Business  program is here.

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Carbon tax off, handbrake off, all bets off

Now that the carbon tax has been repealed,  will the cost of electricity, gas and consumer goods drop?

Logically,  prices should fall, if you accept the claims that the carbon tax had such a large impact on those prices.
But,  I predict that household electricity prices will not fall noticeably, if at all, as the roughly 10% reduction is soaked up by continuing increases in network costs and fixed supply charges (such as daily charges).

Industrial electricity users, at least those with very low retail prices,  should see their total bill drop by up to 20%.
As for the cost of consumer goods, the carbon tax was never a significant impost, despite what some commentators have said. We see a lot of manufacturer’s energy bills, and rarely does the cost of energy exceed 5% of the cost of finished products.
So a carbon tax which accounts for 20% of  energy costs (an extreme case, for a customer with very low retail cost component), the carbon tax would be 1% of the cost of the goods.

For most manufacturers, it will be much less. And of course, that’s the ‘Cost of Goods Sold’,  not the actual selling price, which includes fixed overheads (salaries, rent, interest, administrative charges) and profit. So, don’t expect cheaper bread or milk next week,  regardless of what’s been promised.

As for the carbon tax being a ‘handbrake on the economy’,  don’t all other taxes have this effect?

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Did Clive Palmer really welch on the Carbon Tax repeal?

The Prime minister last week accused Clive Palmer of changing his mind, when Palmer United Party senators voted against the Carbon Tax Repeal bill.

Is that fair and accurate?

Well, Clive Palmer did say that the Palmer United Party would help to repeal the ‘carbon tax’.
But he also stated that he would not support changes to the Australian Renewable Energy Authority (ARENA), which is completely reasonable as Tony Abbott promised support for ARENA before the election.
Since the election, the Liberal-National coalition parliamentarians have changed their minds on ARENA, and now wants to scrap it.

So how did the Abbott government decide to destroy ARENA when Clive Palmer was against the move?

Carbon Tax repeal cover
They tried to use the carbon tax repeal bill as a Trojan horse, hiding de-funding (or pushing funding out beyond the life of this parliament) of ARENA on the second last page of the 94 page bill.

ARENA defunding

(The ‘Clean Energy Legislation (Carbon Tax Repeal) Bill’ can be found here.)

The Government has not provided the PUP with staff, and the Government clearly did not expect the PUP to find this clause.
Well, it turns out that Clive Palmer knows how to read a legal document.
(Did they really expect the head of a billion dollar group of companies not to read what he was asked to agree to?)
Was Clive Palmer justified in saying he’d been double-crossed?
How would you feel if you had been asked to sign a contract purporting to be for one purpose, but with a big sting in the tail, giving effect to something you had declared that you did not support?
It would be like being given a contract to sell your car, only to find that there was a clause throwing your house into the deal.
This would not be acceptable behaviour in any business, let alone the business of running the country.

To add insult, it was Clive Palmer who was then accused of being fickle and unpredictable.

In summary,   it isn’t Clive Palmer that has changed his mind, or gone back on his promises.


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Timber recycling, opportunity and funding

Timber Recycling fund

Sustainability Victoria has announced an investment opportunity for business through a new $550,000 Timber Recycling fund to support the increased recovery of timber waste.

Approximately 393,000 tonnes of timber waste is generated each year in Victoria, of which 286,000 tonnes (73%) is sent to landfill. This creates unnecessary waste disposal costs on businesses and is a missed opportunity to gain more value out of the resource.
The fund aims to:

  • improve the consolidation and supply of recycled timber to timber manufacturers and other markets
  • increase the production of recycled timber products by Victorian businesses
  • increase onsite energy generation using timber waste.

Funding between $25,000 to $150,000 will be available to projects that may include, but are not limited to:

  • the development or expansion of facilities for timber waste consolidation that deliver increased recovery and supply efficiencies to end markets
  • infrastructure to allow recycled timber to substitute virgin timber in existing engineered wood products
  • new recycled timber product development and testing for commercialisation purposes
  • infrastructure for timber waste to be used to generate heat or electricity on-site.

Submissions close 3 pm Friday 4 April 2014.

Genesis Now welcomes Sustainbility Victoria’s timber recycling initiate.
We will expand our existing activities in working with timber processing companies and potential customers of wood byproducts, to identify and evaluate opportunities for timber reuse, product development and recycling.

For more information, call Genesis Now on 1800 22 99 11 or go to

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Victorian businesses investing in sustainability

Genesis Now helping businesses to make the change!

On 3 Feb 2014 Sustainability Victoria announced the recipients of Grants under the Smarter Resources Smarter Business Program, grant round 2.

The good news for businesses working with Genesis Now is that 100% of our grant applications for material related grants were successful. Of the 17 material  grants, 6 (35%) were assisted by Genesis Now. Click HERE to see a list of Genesis Now progressive clients and the grants received. We also won a $25K subsidy to bring the total money granted to $234,530.

The average payback of the materials efficiency and materials efficiency initiatives was about 1.5 years before the Sustainability Victoria grants.  The huge planned reductions in costs, energy and embodied energy is great news for these hard working companies and great news for our environment and business sustainability.

Round Three has now been announced! Contact us and get us onboard to help you invest in the future. Time is short as the grant applications close 2 May 2014. Talk to us about a Resource Assessment a Capex grant application.

Click HERE for more information on the SRSB program


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Energy Efficiency Council awards for Genesis Now

Australia’s peak body for energy efficiency, the Energy Efficiency Council, presented two awards to Genesis Now, at the 2013 annual conference and Gala Dinner.

The categories and awards:

  • Leadership.  Geoff Andrews was recognised with the “2013 Energy Efficiency Champion” award.
    The award is for achievements in a wide range of energy efficiency fields, over 30 years, including in industrial energy efficiency programs, transport, buildings, energy and ratings calculators (including STEPS), and energy efficient products and innovations.  In presenting the award, Energy Efficiency Council CEO Rob Murray-Leach described Geoff as a “quiet achiever”.
  • Industrial Energy Efficiency. Genesis Now was highly commended for it’s Automotive Component Manufacturers energy efficiency program (developed for Automotive Supplier Excellence Australia and delivered in partnership with Complete Lean Solutions). This program worked closely with 38 automotive parts suppliers, to identify and energy efficiency opportunities, to implement the highest priority low-cost and no-cost opportunities, and to prioritise and progress the opportunities which require more effort, planning or capital.
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Genesis Now approved as Energy Performance Contractor

5th September 2013

Greener Government Buildings logo

Genesis Now has been invited to join the panel of pre-approved energy performance contractors, by the Victorian Government, Department of Treasury and Finance.

This follows a rigorous examination of Genesis Now’s energy and water efficiency analysis, engineering skills and energy and water efficiency project implementation skills.

We can now bid to undertake complete energy and water efficiency projects, including analysis, design and implementation, for Victorian Government departments and agencies.
The projects are financed by the Department of Treasury and Finance, through a loan which is repaid from the energy and water cost savings.
Genesis Now will guarantee the level of savings, which must be greater than the loan repayments.

The process of funding of efficiency upgrades from savings (template agreements, etc.), can also be used by non-government organisations.

For further information, please phone us.

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Clean Technology Investment Program during Caretaker Period

CTIP applications continue to be received and assessed during caretaker period but no funds will be granted before the election…..

CTIP Update (another one).. 7th August 2013 

Effective 7th August, the Commonwealth Government of Australia entered a ‘caretaker’ period, which will last until a new Government is formed, or at least until the election result is clear.

During this time, Clean Technology Investment Program applications for grants will continue to be received and assessed, and recommendations for funding will be made, however no new funds will be granted during the caretaker period. Companies that have been considering or have started a CTIP application, or have identified energy efficiency opportunities which could be suited to a CTIP application should now pros and cons of progressing an application now.   To discuss, please phone Genesis Now on 1800 22 99 11.

Genesis Now is pleased and proud to have assisted eight companies to prepare and submit CTIP applications; all of these applications which have been assessed have been successful.

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Hume City Council Lighting the Way on Energy Efficiency

Congratulations Hume City Council, huge grant to boost energy efficiency, reduce greenhouse gases, and light the way for the community.

Hume City Council has received a grant of $M1.9, to accelerate and boost energy efficiency initiatives in Melbourne’s North.

hume city council logo Victoria Australia

From the Hume City Council media release:
“Energy efficiency works including lighting upgrades, installation of insulation, swimming pool blankets and improved pool circulation motors will be undertaken at Broadmeadows Leisure Centre, Broadmeadows Netball Stadium, Broadmeadows Basketball Stadium, Buchan Community Centre, Boardman Basketball Centre, Craigieburn Leisure Centre, and Sunbury Aquatic and Leisure Centre.   The works will also provide more flexible controls of light levels and improved operations or thermal comfort at many of the facilities.”

Lighting the way logo, Hume City Council energy efficiency program

Genesis Now is working with Councils to benefit the community.

We are proud to have assisted Hume City Council with their successful competitive grant application, under the Commonwealth Government, Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism,  Community Energy Efficiency Program (program now closed), and appreciate the opportunity to assist the Council and the community to improve energy efficiency.

In December 2012 Genesis Now was contacted by Hume City Council with a view to taking part in a project to analyse and report on 13 Council facilities with the potential for an energy efficiency upgrade. Potential energy efficiency proposals generated were planned to be added to an application for a government grant under the Community Energy Efficiency Program (CEEP). The biggest challenge in this was that the application had to be submitted by the 1st week of February and we wished to give council all potential CEEP opportunities by the third week of January to allow them time to make a winning submission. After winning a competitive sourcing process we received a work order on the 18th Dec. Working closely with Council officers, we completed analysis including full ‘Energy Diagnostic‘ reporting for all the sites as well as comprehensive CEEP proposals for seven of the sites. Savings from our opportunities alone were modelled at 4.4 terrajoules of energy, avoided emissions of 800 tonnes of CO2 equivalent gases, and $110,000 of financial savings to ratepayers every year after implementation.

Council officers included our energy efficiency opportunities in their overall proposal to government;  branded “Lighting the Way” with reference to a focus on efficient lighting as well as displaying leadership in sustainability to the community. The grant application was accepted in full and announced in July 2013. As well as a significant street lighting upgrade the energy efficiency works developed by Genesis Now are described in Council’s July Media Release above.

Genesis Now is now looking forward to being considered for project management assistance when implementing the identified projects later in 2013.

Genesis Now has successfully completed more than 175 local government energy efficiency and related projects, including energy analysis, energy metering, energy audits, implementation, coaching, staff training and engagement, greenhouse inventories and greenhouse management strategies (development and implementation), cogeneration, lighting retrofits, street-lighting audits and strategies, and design of new facilities.

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Emissions trading to replace Australian ‘carbon tax’

Carbon Tax: what’s in a name?

On 16th July 2013, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced that Australia would switch from a fixed price ‘carbon tax’ of $24.15 / tonne CO2-e to a floating price based on the European permit price. Interestingly, this was exactly 5 years to the day, that the former Rudd Government launched its Green Paper on a Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme).  Back then, I supported a price on CO2 but objected to the ‘carbon tax’ moniker which I thought misrepresented what was a reasonable pricing mechanism to encourage companies and individuals to cut CO2 emissions. The term ‘carbon tax’ was used heavily by the Federal Opposition, and particularly by its leader, Tony Abbott. Of course, Abbott’s aim was to damage the government and discredit the CPRS, but perversely I think Tony Abbott unintentionally helped the CPRS / carbon tax to achieve it’s goal of cutting CO2 emissions.



  1. By calling the CPRS the ‘carbon tax’ Abbott and his shadow cabinet made people think of the scheme as a tax.
    What do people like to do about tax?  They like to minimise their payment. Voila.  Call it a tax and people will avoid it. 
    And how can they do that?  By using less energy. And that’s what people and businesses have been doing since the CPRS came into effect on 1 July 2012. 
  2. By mentioning the CPRS / carbon tax at every opportunity, the Opposition ensured that the scheme stayed front-of-brain, further reinforcing the message that the tax was there. 
(More on the reduction in CO2 emissions in the next blog).
Of course, companies and individuals also looked at the financial return on potential investments in energy efficiency and solar power, and the financial returns were improved by the higher energy prices of the CPRS.  But remember that electricity and natural gas prices only rose by about 10% for households, and up to 25% for businesses that had negotiated extremely low commodity prices. These increases in energy prices would marginally improve the return on investment.  Many investments which were already attractive without the carbon tax, say simple payback periods of under two years, should have been implemented before the CPRS was introduced.  But it was the publicity and scary thought of paying more tax which shone a spotlight on these opportunities, and was the catalyst for their implementation. 
So what effect do I think the switch to an emissions trading scheme will have on emissions, and on our company? 
As an energy efficiency implementation company, you might expect that Genesis Now would dread the switch, because the cost of energy will be lower, and so there will be less incentive to save energy. Actually (and I know I am out of step with most people on this), I think the publicity surrounding the change, will prolong the time that energy efficiency and renewable energy can enjoy basking in the limelight of media attention, and that this will further increase the implementation of energy efficiency opportunities and the installation of renewable energy generation. 



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