Cheaper Energy Bills for Aged Care Sector

Aged care facilities can save an average of $25,000 a year said NSW Environment Minister Robyn Parker at the launch of the “Energy Saver Aged Care Toolkit” published by the Office of Environment and Heritage

22 Aug 2012
 
As Australia’s population ages, there is an increasing demand for aged care services. The sector currently consumes around 7.8 million gigajoules of energy in Australia each year. Around a third of this energy consumption is in NSW, which has more than 930 facilities currently offering more than 62,000 residential places. As demand increases, so too will this energy consumption.

Energy prices have also been rising with projections that they will continue to rise in the future. This has a direct impact on operational costs of facilities, many of which are already operating in an environment of low financial returns.

The toolkit is intended for maintenance managers, property and asset managers, finance controllers and others in the aged care industry to identify and understand the savings and costs relevant to implementing energy-saving projects.

Directors of facilities may also find it useful in understanding what drives the energy consumption of their facilities and to identify the total energy savings that may be possible for their site.

The Energy Saver Aged Care Toolkit will help Aged Care organisations:

  • Understand the drivers of energy use at aged-care facilities.
  • Recognise seasonal and daily energy usage cycles.
  • Identify key areas for improvement.
  • Identify energy efficiency technologies that are appropriate to aged-care facilities.
  • Understand how much energy-saving initiatives cost and their likely return on investment.
The audited research that underpins the toolkit found that site savings of more than 15 per cent for electricity and 18 per cent for gas could be achieved by implementing energy efficiency projects.

This includes savings on lighting energy of up to 80 per cent and hot water energy savings of up to 90 per cent when switching to gas-boosted solar hot water. Additional savings could also be found through other measures, such as equipment maintenance, effective purchasing and good housekeeping.

For more information visit www.environment.nsw.gov.au and search for “Energy Saver Aged Care Toolkit”.