Electricity use in the City of Sydney’s buildings has dropped significantly with new figures revealing savings of as much as 50 per cent from power and water efficiency retrofits.
City of Sydney electricity use data shows large savings are being made across 45 buildings, from measures as simple as installing movement sensors on vending machines that switch off lights when they are not in use, to adjusting the voltage of an entire building.
The savings have been made under a $6.9 million contract with Origin Energy to cut electricity use in the City’s buildings by 6.4 million kilowatt hours a year – enough power to supply 870 households for one year. This will save the City an estimated $880,000 in annual power bills.
“These figures show what a major difference can be made by retrofitting buildings. As cities are the greatest emitters of greenhouse gas, we need to make our buildings more energy efficient,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.
“New buildings are designed with energy efficiency in mind. We need to retrofit older buildings if we are going to make a real difference.
“Reducing our environmental footprint this way makes good business sense. I am delighted we are setting a good example with our property portfolio.”
The City has a target to cut its own energy and water consumption overall by 20 per cent compared to 2006 levels. These latest figures confirm it is well on track to achieving this. Power reductions at City facilities include:
- 68 per cent at the recycling depot
- 52 per cent at Alexandria Childcare Centre
- 39 per cent at Glebe Library
- 32 per cent at Goulburn Street Car Park
- 28 per cent at Customs House
- 22 per cent at Paddington Town Hall
- 21 per cent at Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre
- 17 per cent at King George V Recreation Centre
- 5 per cent at Newtown Library
Some of the savings involved changes to the building’s engineering. Air-conditioning at the City’s swimming pools and large buildings has been improved by installing variable speed drives to pumps and by using refrigerant additives to optimise the system.
At the City’s recycling depot, induction lighting that produces instantaneous and concentrated floodlight has been installed and switches on and off with a movement sensor.
Across the whole portfolio, the City has introduced a relatively new practice of voltage power optimisation and is upgrading the power management system on personal computers. Other retrofit changes include efficient lighting retrofits, waterless urinals, water flow controls, and water recycling and recovery systems.
The overhaul is part of the City’s target to reduce carbon emissions by 70 per cent, compared to 2006 levels, by the year 2030 – the most ambitious of any Australian government.
The City is also Australia’s first officially carbon neutral government.