The Energy Efficiency Council has elected Dr Mary Stewart as its new President, with the globally-recognised sustainability expert bringing two decades of experience to the role.

She succeeds Professor Tony Arnel, with the former President stepping down after six years guiding the energy efficiency, energy management and demand response body.

Stewart has helped some of  Australia’s largest energy users to develop energy management and climate risk strategies and is an expert in sustainable development. She says she is grateful to be stepping into the shoes of Arnel, who has expertly led the council since 2015.

“It is a great honour to take the reins from Tony, who has steadily grown the Council’s influence and impact. Tony helped shape a strong national voice for energy efficiency – a voice that is more crucial now than ever. I am looking forward to building on these efforts by articulating the central role of energy efficiency in a net zero world,” she says.

Arnel believes Stewart is the ideal President for the council, and believes she has what it takes to lead the efficiency body into a period where net zero emissions is at the top of the list for many cities and their occupants.

“I’m very proud of the Energy Efficiency Council’s progress over the last six years. Luke leads an incredible team that is driving the national conversation around energy management. We’ve worked hard to put structures in place that will support the Council’s continued growth,” he says.

“Dr Mary Stewart is a highly capable and passionate industry leader, and I am confident she will build on this momentum to ensure our industry plays its full part on the road to net zero emissions.”

Energy Efficiency Council CEO Luke Menzel says the work conducted by Arnel in its time has laid the platform for Stewart’s presidency.

“Tony is a longstanding industry leader who took the helm at a critical moment for the Council. During his six years as President, Tony oversaw significant growth, and raised our profile and our impact. Behind the scenes, he played a crucial role in building coalitions with other industry bodies that have broadened the Council’s scope and reach,” he says.

“Tony leaves us in great shape. And we are thrilled that Dr Mary Stewart is stepping up to the plate. Mary is a passionate advocate for energy management, and the role it can play in a more flexible, twenty-first century energy system.

“She is also a leading voice on carbon issues, and an expert on the concrete actions business and government can take to meet the climate challenge.”

Dr Stewart was elected to the board of the Energy Efficiency Council in 2017 and chaired its Strategy Committee for two years before her appointment as Vice President in 2019.

A trained chemical engineer and CEO of energy and climate risk advisory firm Energetics, Dr Stewart has conducted energy efficiency assessments at more than 30 mine sites. She is an expert in lifecycle assessment and has been a business observer to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change since 2017.

The 10-member board recently achieved gender parity for the first time since its establishment in 2009. To find out more regarding the council, visit


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