Pub bills cut
Hundreds of NSW pubs will have lower bills thanks to a new deal between a major brewer and energy generator.
Lion, the maker of Tooheys, has secured the world's first industry-scale aggregated power purchase agreement (PPA), locking in a decade-long solar energy deal for about 300 hotels across NSW and the ACT.
Pubs and hotels across the country are under pressure from a decline in patronage and rising energy costs.
The deal with French energy giant ENGIE should see hotels bypass expensive retail energy prices and secure their electricity needs at a lower price.
It will also help Lion cut carbon emissions at its Lidcombe site, the state's largest brewery, by up to 40 per cent.
More and more businesses are working on similar PPAs - where companies buy power directly from a renewable supplier over a fixed term at an agreed price.
ENGIE's retail arm, Simply Energy, will supply businesses in NSW and the ACT with electricity for 10 years from January 1, 2020. It should see a typical hotel's energy price to drop from 11.5¢ per kilowatt hour to 6.9¢ per kWh –a saving of about 40 per cent.
Australian Hotels Association national and NSW president Scott Leach said increasing power bills and environmental consciousness are pushing businesses to pursue new ideas.
“This is a ground-breaking arrangement which will help break the back of high electricity prices paid by our members and is a significant first step in moving the NSW hotel industry to renewable energy,” Mr Leach said.
“Lion's participation in the world's first industry-scale aggregated PPA demonstrates vision by managing director James Brindley – it is about working collaboratively with the broader industry to solve major problems such as energy supply.”
The deal was secured by AHA joint-venture partner Clean Energy Strategies, which put out a tender to developers of new solar and wind farms.
The new partnership will help underwrite the construction of ENGIE's Silverleaf Solar Farm in Narrabri in regional NSW.