The Union Jack Hotel has power bills of around $13,000 to $15,000 per month. After the results of two energy assessments were in, the business knew it would save over $3000 by switching to light emitting diodes (LEDs) lights, and more by installing a key card system for guests (to ensure lights and air conditioning turn off when guests are out). Further air conditioning savings (30%) were possible by upgrading to a more efficient system. These and other changes immediately save the business slash its electricity spend by 14%.
The 30 staff of Joe Vella Insurance Brokers (JVIB) work out of a refurbished historic building in Cairns CBD. The assessor analysed tariffs and advised on how to stay on the current, cheaper tariff – including via installation of a solar PV system, and recommended numerous simple changes to reduce the building’s heat load and save money. JVIB immediately took action and the savings are expected to be imminent, given many of the implemented changes have a short payback time.
A Level 2 energy audit at this luxury residential apartment building found thousands of dollars in potential energy savings. A change in energy tariff would reduce power costs, switching to light emitting diodes (LEDs) would save $1247 a year, and putting a timer on a heavy duty exhaust fan in the car park would cut it’s $3000 power costs. Acting on the recommendations quickly saved the body corporate 10% of its energy spend, despite electricity price hikes and significant savings will be reflected over time.
At Casey’s IGA in far north Queensland, an energy assessor found the local supermarket could save $3750 per year by switching fluorescent tube lighting to light emitting diodes (LEDs). The business could also reduce costs in the supermarket’s deli display section, if more energy efficient lighting was used, or the display was ‘de-lamps’ by cutting back on lights. These and other measures could save the business thousands of dollars.
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A Level 2 energy audit at Cairns Hardware found tens of thousands of dollars in potential annual energy savings. $5500 a year would be saved simply by changing to a more appropriate energy tariff;.$12,000 a year could be saved by replacing lighting on the company’s 3 sites with light emitting diodes (LEDs). Even air conditioning bills could be reduced, either via stronger air-curtains or automatic doors (a potential saving of $11,500 per annum). The company acted quickly, and has already begun making savings.
Cantilever Interiors, a Victorian firm of furniture designers and makers, has long had an environmentally-focussed product offering. Customer demand drove the change to using ‘greener’ product made with sustainable materials in their furniture. In their own premises metal halide lamps and light emitting diodes (LEDs) lighting were installed, they are more efficient than incandescent globes and have a longer life-span, reducing landfill. New insulation was installed, nullifying any need for heating and cooling. A new more efficient air compressor was installed.
At Carlton’s Café Lua, a local program helped inspire a range of sustainability improvements. These include switching to compostable take away cups, installing water-saving tap aerators, installing energy-efficient lighting and installing louvre windows for ventilation – a move which reduces the need for energy intensive air conditioning.
At Northcote’s Café Koula, changing the lighting has led to changing the atmosphere in the busy café. Compact fluorescents replaced 105 watt metal halides, giving an equivalent light while using less energy, and improving light in the café’s work areas. A produce garden is popular with families, and waste is fed to local chickens or in a retrofitted worm farm. Financially, the business has saved $140 a year electricity and maintenance costs, while reducing its greenhouse emissions.
At sustainable architecture practice Breathe Architecture, the company applies the principles it uses to help clients create buildings with lighter footprints to its own office. Insulation, fans and smart design of window placement draw cool air in and push hot air out, negating the need for air conditioning. Amongst other things: second-hand furniture and fittings save money and carbon emissions, and staff are given a sustainability induction to discuss these and other measures in place.