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Energy 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 has a range of materials to help education centres to reduce energy costs and implement energy-efficiency solutions:

  • A greenhouse around the corner is 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.

Aged care facilities

Aged care facilities operate around the clock, meaning energy use is constantly at a high level. The sector has broad scope to reduce energy costs and achieve significant savings.

The Energy Saver Aged Care Toolkit was developed by the NSW Government for maintenance, property and asset managers, finance controllers and others in the residential care industry. The toolkit identifies opportunities for energy-saving projects, and presents findings from 15 energy audits in NSW aged care facilities.

National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) ratings for Residential Aged Care quantify a building’s energy and water performance and identify areas for cost savings and future improvements. Each facility is given a rating based on the energy use of services such as:

  • occupied bed days
  • heavy laundry processed on site
  • meals cooked
  • shared facilities such as heated pools.

The NABERS rating calculator will indicate how the building is performing.

Case studies

The Sustainable Living Tasmania, website, developed by the Tasmanian Government, has published case studies from a series of energy audits in residential aged care facilities. Level 2 energy audits were completed on 9 residential aged care facilities to identify energy usage, areas where efficiencies can be made and recommended actions to achieve savings.

Clean energy and Australian seniors living is a case study published by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation. It includes insights from the transformation of a disused Canberra office park into an energy-efficient seniors village.

The Healthcare Living Laboratories: Fernhill Residential Aged Care Baseline Data (PDF 971 KB) report was published by the Innovation Hub for Affordable Heating and Cooling. The initiative was supported by the Australian Government to facilitate the HVAC&R industry’s transition to a low emissions future. The report records baseline energy data for the Fernhill aged care precinct and identifies site potential for enhanced energy productivity.

The Regis Aged Care case study published by the Victorian Government shows how aged care homes cut their power bills by 20% after energy upgrades.

See the Case studies page for more links to energy efficiency and sustainability case studies.

Culturally and linguistically diverse businesses

Energy.gov.au includes guides on how to save energy in your home or business translated into 33 languages.

Hospitality

Focusing on ways to reduce energy consumption in hot water, kitchen, laundry and refrigeration equipment can see significant cost savings in hospitality. The Energy Rating website will help you select the most energy-efficient appliances.

Hotels

National Australian Built Environment System (NABERS) ratings for Hotels quantify your hotel building’s energy and water performance and identify areas for cost savings and future improvements. Your building is rated based on the energy and water efficiency of:

  • common areas
  • guest rooms
  • back of house facilities
  • on-site amenities. 

The NABERS rating calculator will indicate how your building is performing.

NABERS has also produced a sustainability case study showing why green is good for hotels.

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation provided funding to assist the Holiday Inn Express Melbourne Southbank hotel to achieve a 5 state NABERS rating. Sustainability features helping drive energy savings in the hotel include:

  • high performance air-cooled chillers
  • integrated heat recovery
  • rooftop solar
  • demand-controlled ventilation with occupancy sensors.

Live entertainment

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 live entertainment industry is improving energy efficiency for outdoor events, tours, performing centres and more.

The City of Melbourne has created a Sustainable event guide that includes tips on topics including energy efficiency and waste management.

Museums and galleries

The Museums & Galleries Queensland website provides information on energy efficiency in museums and galleries. The website includes guidance on sustainable lighting and climate control.

Clever Custodians is another Museums & Galleries Queensland resource that provides quick tips and other initiatives for improving the energy efficiency of small-to-medium museums and galleries.

Places of worship

Several organisations have developed information on saving energy and reducing our environmental impact.

Catholic Earthcare Australia is the ecological advisory agency to the Catholic Church and publishes environmental information for places of worship on its website. 

The Gippsland Parish of the Anglican Church has developed a Parish Environmental Guide (PDF 1.55 MB) that focuses on energy audits and energy efficiency opportunities.

The Australian Uniting Church has created the Uniting Earth initiative. This program has a network of experts to help churches around Australia become more energy efficient and reduce their carbon footprint.

The Alliance of Religions and Conservation has released An Environmental Guide for Hindu Temples and Ashrams (PDF 4.8 MB). Chapter 4 of the guide shows 8 things that can be done to increase energy efficiency.

The Jewish Climate Network provides resources and advice to synagogues wanting to improve energy efficiency and reduce energy bills and emissions with solar PV.

In 2015, Islamic faith leaders released the  Islamic Declaration on Global Climate Change. In 2019, the Cambridge Mosque Trust built the first ‘eco mosque’ (PDF 372 KB). The structure combines traditional Islamic design with energy saving technologies.

Sports clubs

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) developed the Save it for the Game program which educates members to dramatically reduce their clubs’ energy bills. You can also read case studies on the SECCCA website.

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation has funded the Bankstown District Sports Club to support its energy-efficiency goals. The sports club installed a new chiller system that is 50% more efficient than the current system.

The Australian Conservation Foundation has released research findings showing how sports clubs can pump out solar energy and save money.

Supply chain and logistics

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.

Moorebank Logistics Park is a nationally significant infrastructure development that will support the increased use of rail in place of road freight, on-site automation and renewable energy use. The Clean Energy Finance Corporation has made a $150 million investment in the project (PDF 1.57 MB).

See the transport guides for more energy efficiency opportunities, case studies and resources.

Tourism

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 is a key area of energy use in the tourism sector. 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, insulation and draught-proofing are an important consideration.

A firm energy management plan is key to reducing energy costs. Building management systems including timers, occupancy sensors and remote controls will bring automated savings to your facility. Staff training can also be a cost-effective means of finding quick energy savings.

Veterinary clinics

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.

Read more

Business services case studies

Business support and advice

Energy management for business

Energy Cut – 20 Steps to Cut Energy Bills

Grants and funding

National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) 

Small Business Energy Check

Support for Australian businesses during COVID-19