Monitoring of energy and water at Avondale a model for others
Avondale will begin monitoring its energy and water use to foster a culture of individual responsibility it hopes will decrease costs and increase sustainability.
The use of utility monitoring systems across the college of higher education’s Lake Macquarie campus provides a model others could adopt, says an energy and water conservation specialist.
Avondale is quietly and modestly undertaking, on its own behalf, a sustainability program that would do credit to some of the top Australian businesses with which we workAndrew Boughton, CST Wastewater Solutions
“Avondale is quietly and modestly undertaking, on its own behalf, a sustainability program that would do credit to some of the top Australian businesses with which we work,” says Andrew Boughton, general manager of the Energy Division of CST Wastewater Solutions.
CST will monitor electricity use by connecting current transducers to data loggers. It will monitor water use by logging every litre of water at 30-second intervals. Avondale will then allocate costs per building and per faculty or department.
“We need baseline data to efficiently control our energy and water costs,” says Paul Hattingh, the vice-president for finance, infrastructure and risk at Avondale. “Monitoring is the first step in helping our faculties and departments take responsibility for their own financial and environmental sustainability.”
A faculty or department could, for example, use data to determine when peak energy use is occurring and implement measures, such as turning off air conditioners or lights, to reduce or reallocate this.
The goal is behavioural change. “We have a long-term vision of greater sustainability,” says Hattingh. “We hope one day to offer courses in sustainability and even to allow a student group to recommend and manage behavioural change, based on the data we’ve collected.”
Boughton says the project at Avondale is a good example of how to increase sustainability without needing to invest heavily in complicated technology. “It’s a practical, down-to-earth approach that gives measurable results virtually from the outset.”
A renewed commitment to sustainability has earned Avondale the status of Bronze Partner in the New South Wales Government’s Sustainability Advantage Program. Avondale earned its status by: launching an Environmental Sustainability Policy; signing a print service contract that reduced the number of devices on campus; and decommissioning its boiler and replacing it with a gas heating system.
Visit www.avondale.edu.au/greenavondale for more information about Avondale’s other green initiatives.