Timber, pulp, and paper

Energy efficient paper industry

Whether you operate a sawmill or produce pulp, paper and other wood products, improving your site’s energy efficiency can make a big difference to your bottom line. It can also have productivity benefits, from reduced maintenance and machinery downtime to the need for less water and chemicals in production processes.

Top energy-saving tips

Drying kilns

Drying kilns can be major energy consumers. Upgrading to a more efficient model can yield big savings. You can potentially generate electricity for use or resale with newer kilns, such as those that feature an organic rankine cycle (ORC) power plant. Also consider the fuel source for your kilns. Could your wood waste be a viable fuel source?


Processing raw materials can be energy intensive. Certain techniques can save you more than just energy. Cradle debarking, for example, can be up to third less energy intensive than traditional methods. It also causes less damage to logs and leads to increased wood recovery rates.

Heat recovery

Large amounts of heat in bleach plant effluent and in the paper drying process can be recovered and reused for other purposes.

Variable speed drives (VSDs)

The installation of VSDs on machinery with motors (pumps, fans, and handling equipment such as conveyors) can help reduce energy consumption. Reducing motor speeds by 20 per cent can reduce your running costs of motorised machinery by up to 50 per cent.


Energy submeters provide you with additional insight into your facility’s energy use that is not available from a standard utility meter. They can be a cost effective way to help manage energy consumption and identify thousands of dollars in energy saving opportunities. Saving energy can be as simple as using submetering to identify equipment that runs after hours unnecessarily. Submetering is a key part of best practice energy management, enabling continual improvement through regular tracking, benchmarking and target setting. The data provided through submetering can help focus your capital expenditure to maximise energy productivity.

Automated controls

Installing timers, sensors and operational controls can stop machinery and other equipment such as lights running when not in use. Smart controls could save up to 10 per cent of your energy bills


Investing in the latest lighting technology can often provide a quick win – with short pay back periods achieved through lower consumption and reduced maintenance. Adding sensors and timers also stops money being wasted lighting areas that are not in use. Achieve up to 70 per cent energy savings on lighting by replacing high bay or fluorescent lights with LEDs. Lighting upgrades can also improve employee safety

How much can you save?

Savings vary from business to business. These case studies show you how how two different business made their savings.

LM Hayter and Sons

Australian family business LM Hayter and Sons has slashed the energy needs of its timber drying kiln by 70 per cent.

Download the case study (PDF 340KB)

How much can you save?

AKD Softwoods

A Victorian timber manufacturer identified more than $2.8 million in potential annual energy savings.

How can we help?

Energy experts

We have a team of professionals dedicated to helping you save energy and cut your power bills. Understanding your current situation through an energy audit is often the first step. We can connect you with a local energy efficiency expert who knows your industry, is up-to-date with the latest technologies and can identify your biggest savings.

Training courses

Our training courses can help you reduce costs and make your business more energy efficient.

Online tools and resources

Our range of online tools and resources cna help you save energy.

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Page last updated: 12 June 2018