ANCOL responds to SA’s power problem

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South Australia’s largest stationery wholesaler newsagency cooperative (ANCOL/KW Wholesale Stationers) has implemented a multi-technology energy program that has led to annual savings of $50,000 off its power bill.

The company, which supplies stationery to 1200 schools and 300 newsagencies statewide, has slashed its energy use by 75 per cent by completing a multi-technology energy efficiency and solar project.

The innovative project – engineered by local energy company Sustainable Focus - includes solar power generation, LED lighting and an automated energy monitoring and management system at ANCOL’s Allenby Gardens distribution centre.

“We could see what was happening to electricity prices and decided we needed to ensure ourselves against future price rises and bring our current operating costs down,” ANCOL group general manager, Grant Eckert said.

The system enables energy use to be continually measured and remotely controlled to switch between solar generation and the grid, depending on when the sun is shining.

Sustainable Focus managing director Rob Smith said an increasing number of SA businesses were “biting the bullet” and putting up their own money to invest in energy-saving technologies in a bid to cut their electricity use and reduce the impact of energy price spikes.

ANCOL is a co-operative owned wholly by South Australian Newsagents and owns subsidiary companies, KW Wholesale Stationers, Lighthouse Books & Office Supplies and Metropolitan Paper.