Knitwear manufacturer fights rising energy costs

Knitwear manufacturer fights rising energy costs

Energy Savings
Published on 19 December 2019
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The Business Energy Advice Program (beap) team partnered with EcoAdvantage to conduct some financial modelling to see whether there were any saving opportunities for Calcoup Knitwear – an Australian-owned company who proudly designs and manufactures school, corporate, and work wear. 
 
The garments are now produced in Fiji with a few pieces made locally. Despite most of the garments made overseas, Calcoup has experienced rising energy costs in their large warehouse facility. 
 
"We're one of Australia's top knitwear providers for school wear and corporate wear. We have a large warehouse in Condell Park, so we need to make sure that energy costs are down," Brad Wilson, General Manager of Calcoup.
 
As a member with the NSW Business Chamber for many years, Brad is regularly contacted by his account manager to offer various assistance and advice to help his business grow. When it came to his rising energy costs, this was no different. 
 
"The Business Energy Advice Program contacted us about energy savings. It's an Australian Government initiative, so we took it on. They sent out a representative within a few days."
 
"They offered impartial advice; we knew that was someone that we could trust."
 
Findings and recommendations
 
"As a result of the energy advice program, we've been able to save ourselves approximately 70% on energy costs which is a huge saving for us!" said Brad.
 
Most of the energy consumption is from knitting machines running all night as well as occasional lighting and air-conditioning during business hours.
 
The warehouse is now predominantly used for storage and admin back-office functions. This means the building is no longer serving the original purpose.   
 
The beap consultation showed that there was a lot of discretionary energy spending. This means that there was energy usage that was not necessary, causing energy wastage. For one example, things were left on overnight.
 
The recommendations from the report were: 
 
  • Replace all light fixtures with LED lights – this small investment means Calcoup will break even within six months
  • Install solar panels – by investing in solar panels from a reputable provider, Calcoup will break even on track 18 months* and will consume 70% less energy. 
 
"The payback is quite quick. For the LED lights the payback is only half a year, whereas the solar panels, they will pay themselves off in one-half years. It's a great initiative from beap. They have looked after us very quickly," said Brad. 
 
What does Brad think of beap?
 
"It's been a fantastic service. It's free, and I recommend this service to anyone in the manufacturing area. We're happy to be on board with this project and see where we can save our pennies. Exciting times for us!"
 
You can watch Brad Wilson’s testimonial and experience of beap here:
 


 
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