Schools ask: where to next on the energy journey?

School energy costs are firmly back in the spotlight following significant jumps in 2017. In a trend echoed around the country many schools within Victoria, for instance, have seen between 16% and

24% increase in their cost of energy as contracts rolled over. Significantly higher than recent years this escalation will result in tens of thousands of dollars in additional operational expenses for schools nationally.

These cost increases have happened at a time when ‘energy fatigue’ is reaching saturation point. As solar, LED lighting and other technologies have continued to commoditise, sales and marketing companies, and some installation service providers, have become more aggressive in their pricing. 

This has increased the frequency and intensity of outbound cold calling and other aggressive sales strategies. Especially true in rebate driven states, ‘free’ or ‘heavily subsidised’ systems are marketed so effectively that the enticement of a (‘too good to be true’) return on investment can distort the decision-making process.

However, there are some benefits from a commoditised market and higher energy costs - lower barriers to investment, greater affordability, and better financial outcomes. This has proven especially valuable when schools are afforded the right guidance with respect to the type, quality and longevity of the technology being installed. 

This ‘perfect storm’ has resulted in a strange paradox. On one hand, there is a better than ever Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) achievable, as well as meaningful reductions on energy usage and resultant energy cost savings and the associated educational and community leadership benefits that come with the right energy reduction initiatives on one hand. On the other hand, there is an aggressive technology bias and confusing ‘techno-babble’ from sales and installation companies who are trying to achieve targets or grow their market share. 

Many schools have expressed the same concern, that it is hard to know where to turn for trusted, independent advice (without spending a fortune on consultancy), so a lot of energy reduction strategies have simply ground to a halt altogether.

In an effort to help combat this immediate and ongoing concern ASCA has expanded its Energy Category to include Energy Advisory and Strategy Development Services from Mamachi Pty Ltd.

As a highly customised schools’ specialist Mamachi represents products and services that have an Energy and Technology angle, bringing together a group of reputable commercial offerings under a single Education centred consultancy.

ASCA’s objective is to enhance its existing Energy Category, that currently features high quality providers like CSR Bradford, Utilacor and most recently Flex Australia, to create a single, centralized starting point for Energy Reduction to member schools. The outcome is affordable, qualified, pre-investment advice complemented with engagement from ASCA’s Energy Partners when their technology is applicable. This will expedite schools’ “up front” journey with targeted advice and mean time invested by ASCAs Energy Partners will be better utilised (only being engaged when their technologies are deemed suited to a specific school’s Energy Reduction Strategy).

Mamachi’s remit is to support ASCA members with a single introductory contact that enables schools to commence or continue their energy journey - a single, holistic subject matter expert that understands both the Education and Energy Reduction sectors intimately.  

Through a series of ‘Low Cost, High Value’ products and services this evolution of ASCAs Energy Category is intended to enable every ASCA member (including resource constrained or process bound State Schools) an opportunity to understand their energy profile and develop a roadmap towards meaningful energy cost reduction.

Founding Director Matt Jones has spent the last 3+ years specialising in energy reduction for the Education Sector. As an active member of the energy efficiency and solar industry over the last 9 years Matt brings expertise across a number of technologies including Solar, LED lighting, Lighting Controls, Power Quality Systems, Building Envelope Systems and Design, HVAC Optimisation and Improvement, Energy Monitoring & Load Management and Energy Storage. 

Taking an agnostic approach towards which technology to apply, Mamachi advocates utilisation of accessible and affordable software platforms and site-services to drive visibility of a school’s energy profile. This creates awareness of the precise loads and energy systems that are problematic, and is complemented with a rank ordered list of retrofit or upgrade opportunities based on impact, cost and payback. The end result? Informed decision-making without significant capital cost, ensuring the best allocation of capital and ultimately a meaningful energy reduction outcome.

Identification of the most impactful solutions for a school through independent advice and affordable site-services is designed to empower a school, developing pre-investment knowledge to decision makers and by default creating a qualified and informed competitive quoting process. No more technology bias or confusion from sales people with a vested interest in driving solely their technology forwards. 

Mamachi’s Pre-Investment Services include site analysis, energy cost and billing reviews and collation of applicable recommendations across a number of technologies. By supporting the Internal Business Case, Governance, Competitive Quoting Processes and Internal Stakeholder Engagement and Education it is intended that capital investment results in a favourable financial return as well as long term, reliable energy reduction assets.

For more information please contact Matt Jones at Mamachi on 0421 700 094 or