Green Scheme Benefits Switched-on Companies

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25th May 2010, 05:16pm - Views: 524
25 May 2010

Green Scheme Benefits Switched-On Companies

A growing number of organisations, large and small, are joining an energy efficiency program aimed at providing a double benefit cost savings from lower energy use and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

Two years after going national, the CitySwitch Green Office initiative has forged an alliance with 196 firms representing 233 tenancies and covering 1.26 million sq metres of office space to slash CO2 emissions by 62,000 tonnes.

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore MP said the reduction in emissions is equal to taking almost 14,000 cars off the road. The CitySwitch Green Office initiative was originally introduced by the City of Sydney in 2005, in collaboration with North Sydney and Parramatta City Councils.

"I congratulate those participating organisations for their bold decision to join the program and their vital commitment to helping reduce the gases that are driving climate change."

"But where are all the other companies and groups that could be and should be a part of this same involvement and commitment to build a universal culture of energy efficiency?" Ms Moore said.

"CitySwitch is ideally placed to support the Federal Government's energy efficiency agenda, which has been given a renewed focus in the wake of the emissions trading scheme being shelved."

"Can you imagine the collective result if we had thousands of organisations taking part it would bring about a massive transformation in office energy efficiency and significantly reduce energy bills at a time when electricity prices are increasing."

"The reductions in emissions would skyrocket, in a wonderful result for the
environment, while producing a sizeable and growing financial return for businesses."

CitySwitch, which links local governments across Australia and the NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water, and Sustainability Victoria, has a target of 700 signatories covering 3.4 million square metres to attain emissions reduction of 162,000 tonnes by 2012.

The program is administered nationally by the City of Sydney.

Each participating council, including the eight making up the Council of Capital City Lord Mayors, has a target of 20 per cent of total net lettable area committed to the program over the next two years.

Sydney has achieved 73 per cent of its target.

Tenants nationally account for almost half the electricity consumed in office buildings, and 50 per cent of total energy demand in CBDs is attributed to stationery energy office equipment, lighting and computers.

The program uses NABERS Energy, an industry recognised tool, to help tenants
across Australia benchmark their greenhouse performance. Ratings go from 1 to 5
stars, with 5 stars representing an exceptionally high level of energy efficiency.

With the average tenancy performing at 2.5 stars, a 4 star commitment means the
tenant is at least 20 per cent more efficient than the general tenant market.

The current line-up of signatories includes a cross section of firms from the banking, insurance, financial services, construction and development, IT, property, insurance, media and retail industries.

Leighton Contractors, a member since 2009, has saved $6,000 and reduced its emissions by 34 tonnes by de-lamping transitioning to T5 lighting, providing staff incentives and computer monitoring. It is aiming to achieve a 4 star rating.

PricewaterhouseCoopers, a member since 2008, has achieved a 29 per cent reduction in lighting energy demand by introducing an automatic lighting system. It has already achieved carbon neutral status.

DTZ is aiming to lower CO2 emissions by 375,000kg over an eight year lease period through a combination of initiatives, including automated lighting, increased use of laptops, installation of movement and daylight sensors and purchase of high-rating white goods. Financial savings are predicted to be $3,500 a year a 40 per cent reduction in operating costs.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the City was currently investing $18 million to improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon dioxide emissions, and was well placed to reach its minimum 2012 targets of a 28 per cent reduction in energy consumption and 48 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions across all its properties.

"We plan to reach these targets through the introduction and installation of tri- generation, solar hot water, solar panels, sensor lighting and intelligent control systems," said Ms Moore.

"Our Energy Efficient Building Lighting retrofit program is underway in 14 of the City's buildings. This project will include the replacement of light fittings, installation of control systems, occupancy sensors and replacement of lamps in these buildings and is indicating a return on investment of approximately three years."

"We have already reduced energy use by 14 per cent, which equates to a reduction of 3,417 tonnes a year of CO2."

"It is worth noting that existing commercial and public sector buildings in the City are responsible for 52 per cent of CO2 emissions."

Media Contact:
Leanne Lincoln (02) 9265 9910 or [email protected]


SOURCE: City of Sydney

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