Energy costs can be a major expense for all services, from hospitality and entertainment to social and community services. This page includes tips and case studies about reducing energy costs in your business or organisation.
Adult and community education
Adult Learning Australia (ALA) has a range of materials to help education centres to reduce energy costs and implement energy-efficiency solutions:
- A greenhouse around the corner A video series following 6 community and education centres as they implement energy-efficiency solutions to reduce cost and improve comfort levels.
- Fact sheets Covering a range of energy-related issues, such as understanding and managing bills, the economics of energy efficiency and choosing energy-efficient appliances.
Residential aged care facilities operate around the clock meaning energy use costs are high. The aged care sector presents an excellent opportunity to examine ways to reduce energy costs and achieve significant savings.
The Tasmanian Government has funded a series of energy audits in residential aged care facilities. Level 2 energy audits have been completed on 9 residential aged care facilities to identify energy usage, areas where efficiencies can be made, and recommended actions to achieve energy efficiency and cost savings.
You can read more about the audits and watch the workshop video on the Sustainable Living Tasmania website.
Energy Saver Aged-care toolkit (PDF 2.59MB) is a toolkit developed by the NSW Government for managers and finance controllers in the aged-care industry to identify and understand the savings and costs relevant to implementing energy-saving projects.
NABERS Accelerate is a program to speed up the development and adoption of NABERS ratings in new sectors. Residential aged care and retirement living is one of three sectors that has been prioritised with a NABERS rating product schedule for release in June 2021.
A number of local, regional and national bodies offer energy-efficiency information for community organisations:
- Lismore Council Information about the energy-efficiency improvements the council has made over the last decade
- In 2016, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) issued a report detailing how to fund energy efficient community housing (PDF 273KB)
Culturally and linguistically diverse businesses
Many culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) businesses and communities are unable to reduce their energy costs as due to a shortage resources or information to identify energy-saving opportunities. Language can also be a significant barrier.
The Community Migrant Resource Centre (CMRC) has developed the 3E – Enable Energy Efficiency Project website which hosts energy efficiency information in a variety of languages (Arabic, Cantonese, Greek, Italian, Mandarin, Spanish, Turkish and Vietnamese) with case studies.
Energy.gov.au includes guides on how to save energy in your home or business translated in 33 different languages.
The entertainment industry has traditionally struggled to make energy efficiency a priority in the face of limited resources and competing demands. The information below can help businesses to better identify, manage and reduce their energy costs.
Greener live performances through energy efficiency is an environmental sustainability initiative from Live Performance Australia (LPA). The website has developed factsheets, checklists, kits and templates to help the entertainment industry find ways to reduce operational energy costs for:
The website includes case studies to demonstrate how the entertainment industry is improving energy efficiency for outdoor events, tours, performing centres and more.
LPA has also developed the following tools and guidance material:
- Wireless Spectrum Update Advice on how to dispose of old wireless equipment.
- Management Guides Topics include how to purchase energy-efficient equipment and how to build a business case.
- Greenhouse Gas Estimator A tool to help you perform an energy use ‘health check’ of your venue based on your energy data relative to other comparable venues.
- Industry Green Tools Suite of tools for festivals, venues, offices, tours and production managers to measure greenhouse gas emissions on an annual or per-activity basis.
- Funding and Finance A list of funding options to consider before implementing sustainable improvements.
- COVID-19 Resources Guides and fact sheets on assistance for the entertainment industry to address the impacts of COVID-19.
Controlling energy costs is an increasingly important part of managing a hospitality business.
In an average hotel, the hot water infrastructure together with kitchen and laundry equipment makes up over 66% of gas use. In the average pub, hot water, kitchen, cold store/cellar and refrigeration equipment consume nearly 25% of all energy used.
Focusing on ways to reduce energy consumption in these areas will see the greatest gains in energy and savings. See the Technology guides for more information on energy saving opportunities in HVAC, refrigeration and other applications.
If you are seeking energy-saving advice tailored for small businesses in the hospitality industry, the Business Energy Advice Program (BEAP) offers free one-on-one consultations with a business expert.
Museums and galleries
One of the greatest challenges for museums and galleries is to reduce energy consumption while maintaining visitor comfort and preserving collections.
Museums and Galleries Queensland has developed the Practical Guide for Sustainable Climate Control and Lighting in Museums and Galleries. This guide can help museums and galleries make informed decisions around viable, economically and environmentally sustainable methods of protecting their collections. The guide identifies appropriate technologies, products and systems to help achieve this.
See the Museums & Galleries Queensland website for more information about energy efficiency in museums and galleries.
Clever Custodians is a resource that provides quick tips and other initiatives for improving the energy efficiency of small-to-medium museums and galleries. Australian Museums and Galleries Association.
Places of worship
Many faith-based organisations are reducing their environmental impact and save energy.
Catholic Earthcare Australia is the ecological advisory agency to the Catholic Church and publishes environmental information for places of worship on its website. You can also read about parishes that have made energy savings, such as Our Lady of Fatima.
Businesses in the professional services industry typically operate in an office environment. With significant increases in energy prices in recent years, electricity bills are no longer an after-thought.
The Australian Government’s Business Energy Advice Program (BEAP) helps small businesses understand their energy savings opportunities, choose the best energy plan, and receive tailored advice on energy-efficiency opportunities best suited to service providers. BEAP offers a free personalised energy consultation, as well as a benchmarking tool that allows a comparison of energy spend to similar businesses in your industry and region.
Check with your local or regional council or organising committee to find out if there are any energy-efficiency resources available to you.
Victoria’s South East Councils Climate Change Alliance (SECCCA) found that many local sports clubs are spending more on energy bills than they need to. Clubs participating in a SECCA study saved an average of 26% off their energy bills.
The Clean Energy Finance Corporation has funded the Bankstown District Sports Club to support its energy-efficiency goals. The sports club will save more than 6.6% on energy costs by installing a new chiller system that is 50% more efficient than the current system.
Supply chain and logistics
Energy is one of the biggest operating costs in the supply chain and logistics sector. Improving the energy efficiency of transport operations and warehouses can result in a more profitable and competitive business.
The Supply Chain and Logistics Association of Australia (SCLAA) website provides energy efficient solutions for Australian transport and logistics SMEs.
SCLAA has also produced energy efficiency guides for the supply chain and logistics sector. These guides cover topics such as the importance of data, and identifying, evaluating, and implementing energy efficiency opportunities.
See the transport pages for more energy efficiency opportunities, case studies and resources.
One of the greatest challenges for businesses in the tourism sector is to reduce energy consumption while maintaining customer comfort in climate-controlled facilities.
Air conditioning in particular is a key area of energy use. For some tourism sectors such as hotels, air conditioning can contribute up to 50% of their overall energy use. Lighting and hot water are also significant contributors to energy use. Equipment upgrades in these areas should be considered.
Where there are differences in building geometry (such as in motels and caravan parks), insulation and draught-proofing are an important consideration.
An energy management strategy is key to lowering energy costs. Building management systems including timers, occupancy sensors and remote controls will assist your level of control. Staff training can also be a cost-effective means of finding quick energy savings.
NABERS rating for hotels quantify your hotel building’s energy and water performance. Buildings are given a rating based on the energy and water efficiency of common areas, guest rooms, back-of-house facilities and on-site amenities. Your rating can then be used to identify areas for cost savings and building improvements. The NABERS rating calculator will give an idea of how well your building or tenancy is performing.
By investing in energy-efficient equipment and machinery, you can reduce operating expenses and improve profit margins in your vet clinic.
Energy Cut provides energy-efficiency tools and information to help businesses reduce operational energy costs and save money. For example, Parap Veterinary Clinic has saved more than $400 per month by replacing its old air conditioner with a more energy-efficient model.