BCS tackles two per cent target

The large not-for-profit provider is installing a sub-metering system across its sites as it looks to cut energy consumption.

By Tim Dixon

A large not-for-profit provider is installing a sub-metering system at its facilities as part of an ambitious plan to reduce its energy consumption by two per cent every year until 2020.

Baptist Community Services – NSW & ACT (BCS) set the two per cent annual target last year and is now looking at ways to cut down electricity and gas use across its sites.

The sub-metering system provides a detailed breakdown of energy consumption throughout the different areas of a building in real time.

It has already been installed at two facilities in Sydney and BCS plans to use it at a further 20 sites in NSW and the ACT.

The organisation’s environmental sustainability manager, Jodie Rutherford said the system will be used to set new consumption benchmarks.

“What the sub-metering has done is it has allowed us to look at individual areas in buildings,” she said.

“Initially we were very interested in looking at kitchens but we actually found that they were not huge consumers of electricity so now we are looking at heating and cooling and general power.”

“[The system’s] able to give us ideas on patterns of consumption: where there might be problems or where we can improve.

“We reccognised that we need to do this because utilities prices – for electricity and gas – are continuing to increase.”

Peter Garrett, the director of mySmart CTI which is providing the sub-metering system, says smarter energy usage can bring about significant savings.

“The bigger picture is looking at entire facilities and how they can be more efficient,” he said. “When you’re running a 24 hour facility, any changes you make can have 365-day ramifications.

“It’s really about having a more environmentally aware operation of the entire facility.”

BCS is considering a range of measures to reduce its energy consumption, such as exchanging all the lights in its facilities for energy efficient lights.

“We are looking at putting sensors into the corridors that aren’t used very often,” said Ms Rutherford.

“We have a lot of back of house corridors that aren’t used all the time so we will be putting sensors in so the lights only come on when someone walks down there.” 

The organisation is also focusing on changing staff behaviour across its facilities through a number of local green committees.

Tags: bcs, energy, environmental-sustainability, gas, utilities,

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