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Sugar mill nuts out plan to cut carbon footprint - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Sugar mill nuts out plan to cut carbon footprint - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) | Crown Capital Eco Management |
A sugar mill at Bundaberg in southern Queensland is using macadamia nuts to create hotter and cleaner renewable fuel.
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Sugar mill nuts out plan to cut carbon footprint

A sugar mill at Bundaberg in southern Queensland is using macadamia nuts to create hotter and cleaner renewable fuel.

The general manager of Bundaberg Sugar, David Pickering, says in an industry first, nutshells are being burnt to generate fuel for the sugar refinery.


The mill was forced to burn coal for six weeks after January's floods and Mr Pickering says the natural gas solution being used is better for the environment.


"We use bagasse, which is a by-product after milling cane - we use that in the non-crush to run our refinery," he said.


"What we do is sometimes we add woodchip and other renewable resources, but we're now using nutshells for the first time just to supplement fuel and make it burn well and make it burn cleanly in the boiler."


He says it should help reduce emissions.


"This year we had to burn some coal while we were carrying out some repairs to the bagasse system after the floods," he said.


"Since then we've been able to use bagasse with woodchip and alternatively as well with macadamias, so that will leave us clear of any carbon tax we believe."


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Crown Jakarta Capital Eco Management News

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Majority of social landlords ‘think housing could be more energy efficient’

84% concerned about the energy efficiency of their properties

Research from npower revealed that 84% of social landlords are concerned about their properties in regards to energy efficiency.


The numbers come from the npower Housing Energy Index (nHEI), which also found that 71% think their properties have room for improvement in terms of energy efficiency, and 15% say there is a lot to be done.


Additionally, just 14% of people surveyed believe their homes are as efficient as they could be, making the current cost of energy a major concern: both landlords (87%) and tenants (72%) stated that energy efficiency needs to receive immediate attention.


Energy efficiency measures

Many social landlords have implemented measures to improve energy efficiency, but there is still much more to be done, it was noted. Indeed, while loft and cavity wall insulation, new boilers or water heaters, and energy-efficient light fixtures and fittings were often installed, there were many things that needed more care.


For example, more than one-fifth of social landlords admitted that their housing stock is in need of further insulation, and 15% said energy-efficient heating systems would also be required.


Changing behaviours toward a ‘holistic’ view

According to Richard Jemmett, head of social housing energy services at npower, there is awareness of the benefits of energy efficiency. Despite this, changing behaviours are needed before they can truly be realised. It was revealed that over one in ten tenants do not always turn off the lights, while almost one-quarter fail to turn off equipment, even if it is fully charged.


According to the expert, writing on Green build news, a holistic view of energy efficiency needs to be taken with tenants, in order to really enable a sustainable approach and help people save in the long term.  


However, a collaborative effort will see challenges arise, Mr Jemmett pointed out. The nHEI revealed that the majority of tenants (65%) did not want their landlords to dish out advice regarding energy efficiency.


Despite this, social landlords appear to be particularly willing to educate tenants; more than two-thirds said they would make an attempt to teach tenants about how to reduce energy consumption.  


Who should pay?

Jemmett also tackled the question of who should pay for this improved energy efficiency. More than three-quarters of social landlords think that ensuring that homes are energy-efficient should be a joint effort between the landlord and the tenant; however, just 43 per cent of tenants feel the same way.


In addition, more than half of tenants believe it is the responsibility of social landlords to pay for any energy improvements. Nearly one-third feel it is the government’s responsibility, and under a quarter admit that they should foot the bill.


However, it is important that social landlords don’t miss out on potential energy efficiency funding – but it appears that a number do. Forty-five per cent admitted they had not obtained any form of government grant to help with the cost of installation of renewable technology or energy efficiency measures.


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