Over 300 Brisbane small to medium businesses are on the path to smarter energy efficiency thanks to CitySmart’s “Watt Savers” project. The locally-developed initiative helped participating businesses identify potential savings of up to 16% off their annual energy bill.

At a recent event in Brisbane to celebrate the first phase of the program, the Federal Government and Brisbane City Council praised CitySmart’s approach to helping small businesses become more sustainable. The Lord Mayor, Graham Quirk, commended the delivery of the program in supporting Brisbane businesses to reduce their costs.

“Brisbane City Council’s Economic Development program is complimented by projects such as Watt Savers, which has assisted Brisbane businesses to become more sustainable and to save money. Importantly, this is money that can be directed back into these businesses, and in turn back into the South East Queensland economy,” said Cr Quirk.

The Hon. Karen Andrews MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry and Science and Federal Member for McPherson, also highlighted the success of the program.

“The vast majority of Australians live and work in busy urban environments. It’s therefore vital that we all work together to look at ways to reduce the pressure on our cities’ resources and infrastructure by being innovative. CitySmart’s Queensland Watt Savers project is a great example of just that,” said Mrs Andrews.

“It’s a win for businesses, it’s a win for the environment and it’s a win for Brisbane” – The Hon. Karen Andrews MP

The innovative program was delivered through CitySmart’s digital platform which provided free calculators, energy audits and tools. In addition to leading businesses through an online step-by-step process, the program also included onsite energy audits and face-to-face workshops, where businesses were “matched” with a relevant industry partner to provide advice specific to their business.

By participating in a Watt Savers energy audit, 60 local businesses identified strategies and approaches that could achieve over 10,000 kWh energy savings per business, or over $250,000 in savings off their electricity bill. This advice enabled the Queensland Theatre Company (QTC) to reduce their energy usage through something as simple as a lighting upgrade.

The QTC lighting upgrade saw over 260 outdated lights replaced with efficient, modern LED alternatives resulting in a 72% reduction in everyday energy usage. Additionally, switch configurations were improved in order to allow large areas to be controlled by staff at convenient positions on the floor.  This simple, smart and more efficient zone lighting design is expected to reduce QTC’s energy consumption by over 34,000 kWh.

“With savings like this it is clear that energy efficiency just makes good business sense. Taking out those unnecessary operational expenses means that we can put some more funding towards other projects that benefit audiences locally and in regional Australia, and that really means a lot to us and the communities we touch,” said Julian Messer, Venue and Operations Supervisor, Queensland Theatre Company.

Watt Savers was developed by CitySmart, Brisbane City Council’s sustainability agency, in collaboration with its corporate partners including Rio Tinto, Business South Bank, ENERGEX, Low Carbon Australia and University of Southern Queensland. The activity received funding from the Department of Industry and Science as part of an Energy Efficiency Information Grants Program.

To learn more about Watt Savers, contact us.