Aged care facilities, particularly residential care, are energy intensive businesses due to the high comfort needs of residents, high levels of lighting, and energy intensive services such as laundry and kitchen facilities. Energy costs are therefore a significant expense in the operation of aged care facilities and any opportunity to reduce energy costs while maintaining comfort should be prioritised to improve the financial sustainability of the business. Energy prices have escalated over the last decade, and are likely to continue rising into the future.
In 2015 Sustainable Living Tasmania delivered nine energy audits to Tasmanian aged care facilities. The audits were commissioned by the Tasmanian Climate Change Office and facilitated by aged and community services Tasmania.
What is an energy audit?
A Level 2 Energy Audit considers all energy inputs (e.g. electricity and gas) into the facility. Data is audited for previous 12 months of energy use. A picture of how energy is used (e.g. heating, hot water and lighting) is built up by counting all major energy using equipment and appliances and their usage detailed, or estimated where details were not available. Where energy efficient appliances or good energy usage behaviors and practices were identified, they were reported.
Reports detailed measures that could be taken to reduce energy use and where possible an indication of costs and potential savings were provided. (Note: level 2 energy audits are expected to provide a preliminary assessment of costs and savings. Accuracy of figures is generally expected to be within ±20%). The audits took into account requirements particular to aged care facilities, such as the need to keep residents warm.
A capability statement that outlines our skills and experience can be downloaded here.
Watch our workshop on Saving Energy in the Aged-Care Sector here:
Each facility received a detailed report (approx. 30 pages) that outlined issues and recommendations for their facilities. Common issues related to:
- Poorly installed or detailed insulation
- Poorly designed and configured heating systems
- Large and ad-hoc construction of buildings
- Low efficiency hot water systems and high flow showers
- Hot water washing
- Inefficient lighting options.
A summary report that details the findings from all 9 facilities can be downloaded here.
In March 2016 presentations were made to Tasmanian aged care facilities. The presentations were recorded and can be viewed in all their glory here.
- NSW Office of Environment and Heritage
- Energy Saver Aged Care Tool Kit Booklet
- The Energy Efficiency Exchange website
- National Energy Efficiency Network:
- Energy Cut
- BIEDO clean and clever energy tool kits
- Agedcare Victoria - Sustainability Work Guideline
- Australian Ageing Agenda
- Saving energy pays off - agedcare
- Example of an aged care facility audit
- Launch of the Energy Efficiency in the 3rd Age (EE3A) at Warrigal
- Victorian aged care facility to save $40k/year with solar
- Tasmanian Climate Change Priorities