5 energy management strategy lessons learnt from Wests Tennis Club’s $100,000 savings
CHRIS WRIGHT, owner of Energy Partners Australia, shares how $100,000 is being saved at Wests Tennis Club and how these energy savings can be replicated.
Energy Partners Australia and Solar Power NSW have been working with a local leagues club since 2009. In that time they have tracked and monitored energy consumption at the site, identifying saving opportunities for the client that will top $100,000 over the next five years.
The club, Wests Tennis Club, is part of a sports and entertainment venue located in Campbelltown, a south-western suburb of Sydney. It currently attracts around 40,000 members per annum and offers a range of sporting, dining and entertainment facilities. The tennis club is supplied and metered at 245 volts per phase by its utilities supplier under a normal watt hour peak, off peak and shoulder supply arrangement.
Energy Partners Australia was invited by Solar Power NSW to collaboratively undertake the servicing of six real-time energy management systems and provide ongoing analysis for the club’s management team. By monitoring the ongoing energy consumption within the main 2000-square metre club, the management team hoped to better understand the club’s usage profile and, subsequently, reveal any potential savings to be had.
Having had bad experiences in the past, the client was initially hesitant to engage the services of another company promising to reduce its energy costs. It required reassurance that Energy Partners Australia would be able to manage the work appropriately and deliver the results it expected.
Working in partnership with a local provider of power factor correction solutions, Energy Partners Australia explained the need for transparency in the process and that it is only through accurate measurement that savings can be identified and later proved.
The Energy Maps process was introduced and six Eniscope meters were installed across two sites, including the tennis club, to initiate the ‘control’ stage of the process. Energy Partners Australia was later engaged to manage and analyse the detailed breakdown of energy consumption across the site.
During the initial assessment period, the meters revealed daily trends at the tennis club that matched expectations for a typical club of its size with the normal fitout of appliances, including lighting, refrigeration, air-conditioning and cooking equipment. The sites’ main operating hours were shown to be 12 hours per day, seven days a week, totalling around 84 operational hours per week.
Information on the electricity supply and power quality at the site was also provided, enabling Energy Partners’ power factor correction partner to assess the benefit of installing power factor correction technology. The data collected showed an average power factor of 0.87.
PAYBACK PERIOD UNDER TWO YEARS
The poor power quality at the tennis club was directly targeted by power factor correction technology. The result was a new average of 0.967, which produced immediate savings for the client.
By measuring the power quality over the month following installation and comparing it to the assessment period, it was possible to demonstrate the efficacy of the solution and the return on investment (ROI) of the technology (see Figure 1).
Making use of this data and the historical data, Energy Partners Australia was able to provide detailed comparisons and analysis. The analysis showed a saving of 293 kilowatts per hour per day, resulting in a reduction of electrical load on the circuit of 20 percent plus. This added up to an annual cost saving of $18,000, providing a payback period of less than two years. Factoring in conservative electrical price rises over the period, the forecast accumulated savings over five years were identified to be in excess of $100,000.
Since inception, Energy Partners Australia has installed another three Eniscopes and now manages a total of nine Eniscopes and two hubs across four sites. The client is now working with Energy Partners Australia to identify other cost-saving initiatives. In addition, Solar Power NSW is in the process of installing a 100-kilowatt solar system that will provide an average of 500 kilowatts per hour per day, with the potential to generate another $40,000 per year in saved energy costs.
FIVE TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL ENERGY MANAGEMENT STRATEGY
- Use a systematic approach: A systematic approach benefits both service providers and clients. The selected energy management system should provide a step-by-step systematic approach to reduction. It is especially valuable where previously negative experiences have been had with suppliers who have promised savings and not been able to demonstrate those results.
- You can’t control what you can’t measure: Install a real-time energy management system. It is the only accurate way to measure ongoing consumption. Minute-by-minute usage patterns are particularly useful. The historical data recorded will help demonstrate potential savings and the ROI following installation.
- Information is power: The more information gathered, the more opportunity there is to identify and prove savings. Without detailed knowledge of current energy costs, it is impossible to accurately work out the savings to be made or demonstrate an ROI following installation.
- Establish a benchmark: It is extremely important that an initial assessment period is run prior to any action being taken. This initial period should be run under controlled and monitored conditions in order for there to be something to compare and contrast against.
- Show me the money: It is always good to know that a difference is being made to the planet’s future, but metrics such as kilowatts per hour and tonnes of carbon may be too abstract. Be sure to demonstrate spend, ROI and payback periods at each stage of the process. Visual representations of the data, such as charts and graphs, may be more effective than tables or rows of numbers.