Energy costs can be a major expense for social and community services, a sector which includes diverse areas such as the adult and community education sector, places of worship and sporting clubs.
Within the sector is a number of smaller organisations which are dependent on volunteer committees supporting paid or unpaid coordinators. They are time limited, yet mindful of scarce resources.
Adult and community education
Adult Learning Australia (ALA) has developed a range of materials to guide education centres to reduce energy costs and implement energy-efficiency solutions. These include:
- 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.
- Factsheets on a range of issues from understanding and managing your bills, the economics of energy efficiency and engagement strategies.
A number of local, regional or Federal bodies offer energy-efficiency information for community organisations:
- In New South Wales, the website Our Energy Future is an initiative of Southern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils. It contains links to each of the area’s councils and their energy efficiency programs.
- Lismore Council shares 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.
Places of worship
Many faith-based organisations are working to reduce their environmental impact, and to save energy.
Catholic Earthcare Australia is the ecological agency of the Australian Catholics Bishops’ Conference. Its website has a range of environmental information for places of worship. The site’s newsletter also occasionally highlights examples of parishes which have made energy savings, such as Our Lady of Fatima.
Research conducted by 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, and that there is potential for significant savings. Clubs participating in a SECCA study saved an average of 26% off their energy bills equalling $1870.
Save it for the Game is a website developed by the SECCCA, Victoria. It provides tailored energy efficiency information for sporting clubs, as well as an overview of projects completed with Cranbourne Bowling Club and Dandenong City Soccer Club.
Bankstown District Sports Club has taken out CEFC finance to support its energy-efficiency goals. The 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.
It can be worth checking with your local or regional council or organising committee to determine if there are additional energy efficiency resources available.