The most valuable watt is the watt that isn’t used, and energy efficiency is the way to achieve it. Victoria’s Greener Government Buildings program (GGB), reinstated in 2016, highlights this most important strategy to reduce energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions.
In the WAGA region, Scienceworks in Spotswood and Gordon TAFE in Geelong are high profile facilities that will be supported by the program. These projects should provide inspiration – and information for solid business cases – for many other building upgrades in the region.
The Scienceworks project is part of a larger one to be delivered across Museum Victoria’s whole portfolio, including the Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne Museum, the Immigration Museum and two storage facilities. These works are set to reduce the portfolio’s emissions by 35 per cent and its water use by 6 per cent and cut electricity costs by 32 per cent. Other projects supported by the GGB include upgrades to health facilities, schools and freeways (LED lighting) across Victoria.
Under the GGB, energy is saved through a combination of lighting upgrades, heating, ventilation and cooling upgrades, building automation and controls – and a switch is made to renewables through solar panels. Energy Performance Contracts are used to ensure the most efficient projects with measured and guaranteed savings and five-year payback periods. A total of $33 million will be provided to the GGB through recently released Victorian Green Bonds.
(Post by the Western Alliance for Greenhouse Action. Photo by Cameron Burke – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=56201146.)