The Apollo Bay Fishermen's Co-op receives fresh crayfish and rock lobster direct from the boat to hold ready for sale across Australia and globally. In conjunction with their Fish and Chip shop operation, the business employs 15 staff while supporting the wider local fishing industry.
Apollo Bay Fishermen's Co-op is participating in Sustainability Victoria’s Boosting Business Productivity (BBP) program. As part of a pilot program the business:
- Was awarded an Energy Assessment Grant. The grant contributes to the cost of a basic (Type 1) energy audit to identify energy efficiency improvements, review pricing tariffs, and suitable renewable energy options.
- Awarded an implementation bonus. The grant contributes to capital upgrade projects that will reduce energy use across the business. The BBP program also offers grants to support Materials Efficiency projects.
The shipment of live lobsters requires a controlled drop in body temperature to ensure healthy animals are received upon delivery. This is achieved through finely tuned cooling equipment. Thus, the business is heavily reliant on mechanical services and subsequently exposed to rising energy and maintenance costs.
Like many businesses trying to reduce costs the business was unsure of the best opportunities to pursue, the risks, and the realistic savings that could be expected.
By utilising support under the Boosting Business Productivity program the business could get the expert advice they needed and the confidence to start investing in energy saving opportunities.
An experienced energy auditor worked with the business and their preferred service contractor to identify the best range of savings projects to suit the business’s needs.
Capital co-funding was provided by SV to complete certain projects, Apollo Bay Fishermen's Co-op chose to go further and fund most projects raised in their energy assessment report.
The funded initiatives included reducing and upgrading aerator pumps across the crayfish tanks along with upgrades to cooling system compressor drive motors to higher efficiency alternatives. The business was also able to retire an ammonia cooling tower to install a sea water heat exchanger and utilise cool seawater to reject heat from cooling systems which will help them save energy.
Collectively the project is estimated to save 67Mwh of electricity, 73 tonnes of Carbon emissions and $9,685 of energy costs per year with a combined payback of 3.4 years.
The co-benefits from these initiatives include significant maintenance savings and reduced risk of losing livestock. The assessment report provides guidance toward further savings specific to their business which they can pursue into the future.
"When our electricity retailer advised us that our usage charges were about to double we realised it was a good time to start looking at ways to reduce costs. We contacted Sustainability Victoria and an energy audit was organised. The audit outlined five clear areas where we could find real savings. We decided to implement all the recommended changes which is expected to reduce energy costs by 47% and emissions by 151 tonnes per year”
Alan Nicholls, Director of Apollo Bay Fishermen’s co-op