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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 (ALA) has a range of materials to help education centres to reduce energy costs and implement energy efficiency solutions:

  • A greenhouse around the corner - 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 costs are usually high. This sector presents an excellent opportunity to examine ways to reduce energy costs and achieve significant savings.

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

NABERS (the National Australian Built Environment System), is a national rating system that measures the energy and environmental performance of a building, and identifies areas for cost savings and future improvements. NABERS will launch a new ratings tool for the residential care and retirement living sector in June 2021.

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 energy efficiency and cost 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 living village.

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

Community organisations

Powering Comunities Program

The Powering Communities Program provides $10.2 million in grants to not-for-profit community organisations. This will help them to their reduce energy use, improve energy productivity and reduce emissions. 

The grants will help eligible organisations with investments including equipment upgrades, energy assessments, energy monitoring and onsite renewable energy.

Applications will open (for invited applicants only) on 1 July 2021 9:00 am AEST.

For information on eligibility and how to apply, see the Powering Communities Program page.

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.

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

Entertainment

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:

  • COVID-19 Resources Guides and fact sheets on assistance for the entertainment industry to address the impacts of COVID-19.
  • Funding and Finance A list of funding options to consider before implementing sustainable improvements.
  • 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.
  • Management Guides Topics include how to purchase energy-efficient equipment and how to build a business case.
  • Wireless Spectrum Update Advice on how to dispose of old wireless equipment.

Hospitality

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.

The NSW Chamber of Commerce has also developed the Hospitality Sector Sustainability Guide which outlines major energy efficiency opportunities for the sector.

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 as well as case studies.

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

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 that includes a focus 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 Generations Church case study, highlights the energy efficiency upgrades that were done on their church in Cairns.

In 2015, The Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC) released An Environmental Guide for Hindu Temples and Ashrams. Eight things that can be done to increase energy efficiency is covered in Chapter 4.

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’, a structure that combines traditional Islamic design with energy saving technologies.

Professional services

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.

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) 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.

SECCCA developed the Save it for the Game program which educates members to dramatically reduce their clubs’ energy bills. You can 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 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.

Tourism and hotels

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.

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 Energy Advice Program

Business support and advice

Energy management for business

Energy Cut – 20 Steps to Cut Energy Bills

Grants and funding

Business Services Case Studies

National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) 

Small Business Energy Check

Support for Australian businesses during COVID-19