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The Australian Industry Group was awarded a grant from Sustainability Victoria (SV) to provide a mentoring service to the Victorian manufacturing industry. The Energy Efficiency Capability Program provided a learning journey on energy efficiency for seventeen manufacturers in metropolitan and regional Victoria. Over one year businesses participated in workshops, developed projects and plans and received one-on-one mentoring and business coaching.

The project focused on the skills and knowledge required in manufacturing small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to identify specific energy savings strategies, as well as develop the structures required in each company to integrate energy saving practices across the business.



We’ve set up a helpdesk, where our energy consultants discuss how you can improve your business’ energy efficiency and reduce costs over the long term.

Russell Harris
Wollemi Consulting
Phone: 0418 138 048
Hannah Meade
Ndevr Consulting
Phone: 03 9865 1413

Watch the program outcomes video

Program Commencement

Initially, company participants’ energy issues and needs were identified to determine the current level of energy management, and to tailor suitable support to improve capability. This helped to ensure engagement throughout their organisations, and determine the best support approach for each company.

For those identified as needing an energy audit these were arranged through the concurrent SV energy audit grant.

Metropolitan and regional ideas generation workshops were held for participants to provide sufficient opportunity for sharing within group and individual tailored conversations. The workshops focussed on:

  • introductions relating to participants, facilitators, program structure and objectives
  • the strategic context of the program - an overview of energy efficiency in manufacturing, energy pricing trends, energy management, challenges facing the manufacturing sector, needs for capability building, importance of engraining energy efficiency principles in strategic objectives
  • current opportunities for improvement – findings from previous energy audits, internal discussions, roles and responsibilities
  • overcoming barriers – discussion on what is preventing these opportunities from being realised (funding, resources, time, information, corporate structure)
  • determining the need for an energy audit, through an SV grant for eligible companies
  • the commencement of the development of Company Capability Development Plans for final determination with management
  • outlining of Plans of Action to prioritise ideas implementation, focusing on quick win, short payback opportunities and practical solutions.

Following the workshops, arrangements for the consultants to come on-site, communicate online and via phone were made to provide mentorship and coaching.

One on One Mentoring

One-on-one mentoring support and coaching was provided to instil energy efficiency capability within organisations for long lasting improvements. This support was tailored to the specific business and their needs, and involved the development and implementation of two plans:

Project Action Plan - focussing on operational improvements to achieve the quick win energy/cost reductions. Support with this plan included:

  • quantifying savings of identified improvements (energy expenditure, greenhouse emissions, productivity improvements)
  • preparing a business case for internal approval
  • identifying alternative sources of funding (i.e. new energy jobs fund, regional energy assistance, LGCs)
  • preparing tender specifications
  • obtaining quotes
  • support during implementation
  • quantifying improvements (if possible) post implementation.

Company Capability Development Plan - to ensure energy efficiency was fully integrated into the organisation. Support with the plan included:

  • change management support - embedded in business corporate strategies, culture, roles and responsibilities
  • establishing a capital works scheme
  • setting reporting KPIs and corporate strategic objectives.

Consolidating Learnings

To ensure that the program was building capability, mid-program and end-of-program workshops were facilitated in order for participants to share with the group what they had learned and achieved. These workshops reflected on learnings from participating companies’ actions and experiences.

They included:

  • an overview of the group’s journey to date
  • aggregated results on project improvements (where available)
  • progress on company capability plans
  • participant experiences, achievements, challenges, and lessons learned
  • the next steps on how to progress further through the action plans.


Specialist Consultants for the Program

Specialist energy consultants, Wollemi and Ndevr Environmental provided the strategic and technical guidance throughout the program.

Wollemi Consulting

Russell Harris from Wollemi Consulting has worked in energy and sustainability for more than 25 years, including 16 years in energy efficiency. He has also worked in power generation, including cogeneration and solar power project development including engineering and financial analysis.

Russell began his career in low energy commercial building design and rectification. He later moved into Origin Energy and headed their industrial energy efficiency group. Energy efficiency work was successfully completed for Amcor (Orora), BHP, Telstra, Manildra Starches and FJ Walker, amongst others. During this time, a long-term contract with the NSW government’s Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA) to target large industrial energy users was successfully delivered.

Contact Russell Harris for specific energy questions on the program: 
Phone 0418 138 048 or

Ndevr Environmental

Ndevr Environmental is a specialist energy, carbon and sustainability consultancy that has successfully facilitated government industry engagement programs, and supported clients in identifying and implementing energy efficiency improvement plans.

They have worked with a mix of industry participants in the NSW Department of Industry/Office Environment & Heritage clean energy strategies for business program; leading Energy Management Basics and Building the Business Case training programs through the NSW OEH Energy Efficiency Professional Panel; mentored businesses in identifying and implementing improvements through the Tasmanian Smarter Fleets Program; and completed numerous energy audits, road maps and sourced funding for a range of manufacturing and industrial clients.

Ndevr’s mix of expertise in engineering, science, economics, legal, policy, strategy and IT will enable them to provide a depth of practical support to participants in embedding energy efficiency principles in both their operations and corporate procedures.

Contact Hannah Meade for specific energy questions on the program:
Phone 0434 479 544 or  

Program outcomes

At the end of the Program participating companies had:

  • identified and implemented projects that achieved reductions in energy spend and consumption and GHG emissions, and improved energy efficiency productivity
  • implemented a proven methodology, via company capability development plans, to build efficiencies into company structure and culture
  • received support from their peers, and via Ai Group, support from specialist consultants Ndevr Environmental and Wollemi Consulting
  • access to case studies developed during the program and other resource materials used.

In many cases, changes have been brought in to companies that have improved workplace practices, such as monitoring and reporting weekly on how efficiently they’re using energy. These improvements have changed the way teams operate, and have helped promote workplace cultures where people now work in more environmentally conscious ways.

Read the six case studies for more specific information on specific savings achieved and changes adopted by companies.