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Achieving Low Energy Existing Commercial Buildings in Australia Report

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Energy Ministers agreed on the Trajectory for Low Energy Buildings in 2019. This is a national plan that aims to achieve:

  • zero energy and carbon ready buildings in Australia
  • the National Energy Productivity Plan target of improving energy productivity by 40% by 2030

The report identifies 6 options to achieve this.

The report is by the former Department of the Environment and Energy and the COAG Energy Council.

Energy audits and behaviour change - UnitingCare Community QLD

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UnitingCare Community is a Queensland-based provider of community services. After energy audits were completed on a number of its 297 properties, the organisation began energy efficiency improvements as one of its first initiative. At Gipps Street, electricity consumption was high relative to floor area, until changes were made.

Upgrades and behaviour change - Multicultural Services Centre WA

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When the Multicultural Services Centre of WA conducted an energy audit, air conditioning showed up as a large cost for the community services organisation. Numerous savings have been made since implementing recommendations like: adjusting thermostats to 22°C in winter, and 20°C in summer; regular cleaning of vents, ducts and skylights; task specific cooling via ceiling fans or portable fans; replacing florescent lighting with light emitting diodes (LEDs).

Energy efficiency improvements - Mercy Services

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Mercy Services provides in home and community support to various sectors of the community.  Environmental audits have spurred the organisation to make changes leading to a 16% reduction in gas usage and 23% in electricity usage (23,000 kWh) over a 5 year period. 

Solar PV system installation - Drury Orchards

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To reduce costs at Drury Orchards in South Australia, the company installed a 24 kilowatt (kW) solar photovoltaic system. The system helps offset peak electricity use in a company which spends around 70,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity a year, at a cost of more than $18,000. The solar investment of $44,000 (including an $18,000 rebate) will help Drury save over $9,500 a year with a payback period of 4.5 years.  

Energy efficiency improvements - Generations Church

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Generations Church, just north of Cairns, comprises a large hall, served by a large commercial chiller unit; a number of small rooms and offices (all with wall air conditioners) and an adjacent building with toilets, kitchen and a community room. An energy assessment show that for an investment of $2550, the top five opportunities to save could be implemented, bringing projected annual savings of $1430.

Electricity monitoring in foundry - Dobbie Dico

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Dobbie Dico is a privately owned casting foundry in Perth specialising in manufacturing high quality ferrous and non-ferrous valves for the civil water industry, as well as castings for the rail and resource sectors. This case study shows how energy efficiency improvements and techniques such as sub-metering could bring improvements to the company’s energy management capacity. 

Energy audit and changing irrigation - orchards

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The ‘Watts in Your Business’ project conducted by Apple and Pear Australia Ltd completed energy audits of 30 packhouses and orchards Australia-wide. This fact sheet shows how changing irrigaton in orchards can cut energy use and save money.

Energy efficient design and possible savings - Willowdale Community Centre

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Case study prepared by Team Catalyst showing how the design of a community centre in a retirement village in western Sydney might change if the building had been designed to comply with the 2019 version of the energy efficiency provisions in Section J of Volume 1 of the National Construction Code, rather than the 2016 version. The case study focuses on the building fabric provisions. The case study was completed in early 2018 using an early draft version of Section J 2019 and does not fully reflect the final version published in February 2019.  

Energy assessment and lighting upgrade - Berwicks

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After an audit helped the owners of Berwicks Office Technology reduce energy costs in its 900 sqm building in Brisbane’s West End. Upgrading to a new digital metering system helped Berwicks to track spikes in energy use, while upgrading lighting made the parking garage safer and more energy efficient. It also led the company to replace its 200 fluorescent tubes with light emitting diodes (LEDs), resulting in a better visual experience for customers and staff, as well as reducing its electricity needs by around 30,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) a year.