As part of our commitment to living sustainably and striving towards carbon neutrality we will continue to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. Making a difference locally is an important first step towards a global sustainability movement.
We have improved the energy efficiency of our buildings through implementing a range of initiatives:
- lighting retrofits
- sensor lights
- solar PV panels
- power saving computers and printers
- instant hot water systems
GREENHOUSE GAS INVENTORY
We undertook a greenhouse gas inventory in 2011 which identified the main sources of greenhouse emissions. Major energy-consuming sites were also audited, and a priority list prepared for gradual implementation to reduce energy use at these sites, such as installing solar PV panels, light sensors, improved lighting fixtures, and instant hot water systems.
SOLAR PV PANELS
We have installed solar PV panels on the Woodside Library, Heathfield Depot, Stirling Office and Coventry Library (Stirling). These installations have resulted in 94970 kWh savings achieved which equates to 115 tCO2-e and a reduction in our overall kWh use by 7%. If street lighting is excluded from the calculation (as per the 2010/11 benchmark data in the Greenhouse Gas Inventory) then the overall kWh reduction is 11%.
INSTANT HOT WATER SYSTEMS
We have installed instantaneous hot water systems in some of its offices. These systems provide hot water only as it is needed. They don't produce the standby energy losses associated with storage water heaters. The energy efficient hot water system also saves energy bills.
TRACKING ENERGY USAGE
In 2016 we adopted the software program 'Trellis' to track energy usage. This will help to identify trends in usage and identify additional opportunities to become more energy efficient.
The use of Green Power helps reduce carbon emissions as it generates electricity from renewable sources like wind, solar, water and bioenergy. We currently purchase Green Power based on the usage from electricity needs at our smaller sites, which represent the majority of infrastructure, as well as street lights. This additional amount is invested in developing new infrastructure in the renewable energy sector.
HOME ENERGY AUDITS
Adelaide Hills residents are encouraged to undertake their own energy audit to understand where energy is being used in the home and what activities and reductions could take place. Energy audit information and Energy Saving Kits are available from our libraries in Stirling, Woodside and Gumeracha. This information provides a guide to determine how much energy is currently being used and provides tips towards possible savings. Energy Savings Kits can be borrowed through the normal library loan system.
RESIDENTIAL ENERGY EFFICIENCY SCHEME (REES)
Electricity and gas providers in South Australia may offer incentives to help reduce household energy and water use. This may include energy efficient light globes and water efficient shower heads. These incentives are part of the Retailer Energy Efficiency Scheme (REES).
Low income households may also be eligible for a free home energy audit to identify even more ways to save energy and minimise bills. Further information on the latest energy updates and REES is available on the Government of South Australia website.