How to reduce your energy costs this summer

29 November, 2017 by Vanessa Cavasinni

Cooling your venue in summer is both inevitable and an expensive undertaking. Matt Hoogland, Engineering Services and Development Manager at Energy Action, shares some pointers as to how to reduce your energy costs.

Energy costs are increasing and are putting stress on businesses across many industries. However hospitality facilities typically have the potential for a 20-30 per cent reduction in energy consumption through energy efficiency measures, ranging from ‘low-hanging fruit’ tweaks to air-conditioning through to investment in life cycle technology upgrades.

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Here are some strategies typically applicable to the local pub that can help to save energy costs:

  • Outdoor heating. Outdoor heating is typically manually controlled with no thermostat and can account for 10-20 per cent of a pub’s energy consumption. Fuel-switching between electricity and gas can provide financial savings, but most important is to incorporate intelligent controls to the operation of these systems, via thermostats, zone controls and time schedules.
  • LED lighting. If your pub is not using LED lighting, it should be. LED luminaires with superior efficiency are available to replace most halogen, fluorescent or metal halide lighting and they can do so while still satisfying the need for aesthetic appeal. Indeed, aesthetics can be enhanced with LEDs via the ability to provide various and alternating colours. LEDs also often offer more controlthan other luminaires, lending themselves well to daylight dimming and occupancy controls. Another major advantage of LEDs is their far superior life expectancy.
  • Solar PV. The trend of increasing electricity costs and decreasing solar costs has served to provide significant improvement in the payback for solar power systems over the past few years. If you’re lucky enough to own your roof space and your electrical profile isn’t solely constrained to the evenings, then a solar photovoltaic (PV) system may provide attractive paybacks.
  • Power factor correction. The ‘power factor’ of a site is a measure of electrical efficiency; the ratio of real power (kW) to ‘apparent power’ (kVA).  A power factor of 1.0 is ideal and can be achieved (almost) with a power factor correction unit. If your electricity bill notes a charge against a kVA figure then your site may have the potential to reduce energy bills via power factor correction.

This is an excerpt of an article that ran in the October issue of Australian Hotelier. You can view the rest of Hoogland’s tips here.