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Sydney’s $6.9m energy and water overhaul to pay for itself in six years

Sydney City expects to save $1.3 million a year by overhauling the energy and water performance of its major buildings. The $6.9 million project would also be a big step to achieving the City’s ambitious carbon reduction targets.

Retrofitting the City’s buildings with energy and water efficiency technologies is expected to significantly reduce costs. It will also cut 7,000 tonnes of carbon emissions a year, taking the City’s overall emissions reductions from 6.8 per cent to 19.9 per cent. The target is 70 per cent reduction by 2030 (on 2006 levels).

The program will retrofit 46 of the City’s major buildings, including Town Hall House, the Woolworths building, Customs House, pool centres, community centres, libraries and car parks.

They will be fitted with energy efficient lighting, air-conditioning and heating, centralised power management systems to reduce energy consumption by computers depending on activity, and voltage reduction units to slash electricity use in pumps, fans and lights.

Water-saving devices including aerated taps and shower heads, cistern modifiers in toilets and waterless urinals, will also be installed.

The retrofit will cut energy use by 7.5 million kilowatt hours (kWh) a year – about the same amount of electricity used by a thousand homes – saving $840,000 a year. Water consumption will fall by 61,360 kilolitres a year, saving $200,000 a year. The retrofit will also reduce maintenance costs and avoid $160,000 in carbon pollution costs.

After a tender process, the Council has approved Origin Energy to carry out the work. To make sure the targets are achieved, the contractor has to design and install the systems and guarantee the reductions. The energy and water performance guarantees will be independently verified.

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