Sustainable event management
One of the objectives of Kiama Council’s Health and Sustainability Policy is:
To host Council and community events in a sustainable manner that actively seeks to reduce the impacts upon the local and wider environment without compromising the health and safety of participants, or economic viability of the event.
Council recognises the importance and significance that events have within the local community and encourages events that will provide social and economic benefit for the community and have a positive impact on the municipality.
Council actively encourages event organisers to ‘green up’ their events and supports events that seek to reduce environmental impacts. Council also encourages event organisers to ‘plan for sustainability’. Shoalhaven City Council has developed a Sustainable Events Action Plan template to assist with planning events and is available for organisers to use. It is easy to use and provides a great selection of sustainable event ideas. When you have selected the actions suitable for your event and click on submit you will be provided with a Sustainable Event Action Plan to use.
Areas of event sustainability that should be considered include:
- waste minimisation and recovery
- reducing energy and water consumption
- green transport
- venue selection
- reducing print material
- purchasing and procurement
- carbon management
Sustainable energy use
Average NSW households spend between $880 and $1,660 every year on electricity. With the price of energy set to rise over the coming years, it is in the interest of every householder to make both behavioural and physical changes to their home to become as energy efficient as possible. Furthermore, 90% of residential energy in NSW is sourced from coal fired power, so there is a major incentive for households to reduce energy consumption, thereby reducing associated carbon emissions.
There are a number of actions and choices you can make in your everyday life which will not only reduce your energy consumption and associated carbon footprint, but can also save you money in the process. Listed below are a few tips for you to reduce your energy consumption:
- Replace old incandescent light globes with energy efficient Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) and turn lights off when leaving the room.
- Investigate replacing energy hungry halogen downlights with compact fluorescent or LED alternatives.
- Click on the following link www.green-energy-efficient-homes.com/cfl-savings-calculator.html to use the calculator to determine the saving in running costs you can make when changing from incandescent to Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) and from halogen down lights to CFL down light alternatives.
|Incandescent Globe (Watts)
|Electricity costs per year based on
|CFL equivalent (Watts)
||Electricity costs per year based on
As well as the savings from using less energy, incandescent light globes have a lifetime of approximately 1,000 to 2,000 hours, whereas CFLs have a lifetime of approximately 8,000 to10,000 hours. If you are concerned about the bright white light that CFLs are known for, there are now a range of colour options available. The K (Kelvin) value will give you an idea as to what colour light the CFL will produce. The higher the K value, the whiter the light will be:
warm white (2,700 K), cool white (4,000 K) and bright daylight (6,500 K+).
down light (Watts)
|Electricity costs per year based on
|CFL equivalent (Watts)
||Electricity costs per year based on
*Low voltage halogen down lights require a transformer, which can consume between 10W to 15W per transformer, these calculations are taking into account the energy used by the transformers to run the light.
These savings are based on 1 globe, so if you added up the energy savings on the number of halogen downlights in a single room or entire house, the energy savings alone each year add up to a significant cost saving. Energy efficient downlights also have a lifetime of approximately 10,000+ hours, whereas halogen downlights last around 2,000 to 3,000 hours.
Halogen downlights have become the most prolific light in Australia in recent years. Considering that two 18W CFLs could be used to light the same area as six or more 50W halogen down lights, there is a massive energy and cost saving to be achieved by replacing inefficient halogen downlights with energy efficient alternatives or regular light fittings.
On top of the energy costs, halogen downlights compromise the efficiency of insulation, as there is a required clearance around the down light fitting due to the risk of fire from the very high operating temperatures.
Any conversion from low voltage 12 Volt halogen downlights to energy efficient CFL downlights will require an electrician, but if you have down lights connected to 240 Volt mains power, you should be able to find a CFL downlight that will plug straight into the current fitting.
For more information visit your local lighting specialist, and ask about energy efficient lighting alternatives.
- Switch off appliances at the power point, instead of leaving them on standby power. Most appliances consume between 1 Watt to 5 Watts in standby mode, with some appliances up to 20 Watts. Standby power use can account for as much as 10% of your energy bill. (By 2012 appliances will have to meet minimum standby output of 1 Watt, to be sold in Australia). For more information on stand by power and energy efficiency ratings, visit www.energyrating.gov.au.
- Choose appliances with high energy star ratings, the extra up front cost will likely pay for itself in lower energy use over the products lifetime. For more information on products and energy star ratings and to compare running costs of various models visit www.energyrating.gov.au.
- Install a solar or heat pump hot water system to reduce energy consumption and save
money. The costs of installing a solar hot water system can be recouped in as little as 4 to 5 years, after which you are putting money in your pocket. Take advantage of the Federal and State Government rebates and Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), available to reduce the costs of installing a solar hot water system. For more information on rebates and RECs visit www.environment.gov.au/settlements/renewable/solarhotwater/index.html and www.environment.nsw.gov.au/rebates.
- Insulate exposed hot water pipes around your home, especially the first 2 metres coming out of the hot water storage tank.
SPACE HEATING AND COOLING
- Turn down the thermostat on your heating to between 18°C to 20°C for winter heating and if cooling in summer set your thermostat between 24 °C to 27 °C. Setting your thermostat
1°C higher for summer cooling or 1°C lower for winter heating can save you 10% on your heating or cooling bill.
- Compartmentalize your heated and cooled areas.
- Install blinds or curtains over exposed windows and use draught stoppers or weather strips on doors.
- Install insulation in the roof to reduce heat gain and heat loss and therefore heating
and cooling bills.
- Wash clothes in cold water instead of using warm or hot cycles.
- Match the water level to the load and choose the water saving cycle.
- Dry clothes on the line whenever possible instead of using a clothes dryer.
- Install a water saving showerhead. Old style showerheads can use up to 20 litres of water per minute; whereas a AAA rated water saving showerhead will use approximately 9 litres of water per minute. This is one of the cheapest and most effective actions to reduce your ecological footprint, when taking into account the combined energy and water savings.
- Limit showers to 5 minutes and under.
- Check your fridge seal by placing a piece of paper in the door. If the door cannot hold the piece of paper, replace the seal.
- Check the temperature of your fridge / freezer. Fridges should be set between 3°C to 5°C and freezers between -15°C to -18°C.
- Locate your fridge in a well ventilated area with plenty of space around the fridge, and clean the coils regularly.
- When buying a new fridge, spend the extra money on the most energy efficient model to recoup savings in energy costs. In a typical NSW household, a fridge accounts for approximately 12% of household energy consumption.
- Make sure that the dishwasher has a full load before use.
- Investigate taking advantage of the Federal Government’s Solar Credits Scheme for installing a solar photovoltaic system. Also investigate the NSW Government solar feed in tariff, which will pay households up to 60 cents per kilowatt hour of excess energy produced by residential photovoltaic sytems.
For more information visit www.environment.gov.au/settlements/renewable/pv/homes.html.
- Choose to have a percentage of your power sourced from accredited GreenPower. You will pay a premium for GreenPower, but can be assured that your energy retailer will source that energy from an accredited renewable energy source. Some energy retailers will give you the option to source 10% GreenPower for no extra cost. For more information on GreenPower and for a list of the most competitive GreenPower retailers check out: www.greenpower.gov.au.
Sustainable water use
Kiama Municipality is extremely fortunate to have annual rainfall of 1250mm. Although there is a high rainfall average on the coast, there are not necessarily sites that are ideal for water storage facilities, so Kiama Municipality is reliant on the Avon water supply dam, through the Sydney Water supply line.
Across all of NSW, agriculture accounts for around 65% of water use, but in the Sydney Water area, households are the major consumer, accounting for around 70% of metered water supply.
With the effects of continuing drought and below average rainfall, forecasts of climate change, and population growth there has never been a more important time to use water as efficiently as possible.
The environmental and ecological damage and the loss of prime agricultural land that creating new dams cause, means that we have to become smarter in the way we utilise our freshwater resources. We must ensure there is enough water to sustain human population and to also keep our vital river and wetland areas in a healthy condition.
Here in Kiama Municipality, Kiama Council has undertaken a number of initiatives and projects to decrease the use of potable water, including:
- utilising recycled water from the sewage treatment plants at Bombo and Gerroa for irrigation
- installing infrastructure such as the Black Beach / Hindmarsh Park stormwater harvesting and re-use facility
- installing rainwater tanks on Council buildings for flushing toilets and watering gardens
- installing water efficient fittings in Council buildings and facilities.
Clean, fresh water is an extremely valuable resource and every attempt should be made to use water as efficiently as possible. As a resident there are a number of actions that you can take to use water more efficiently, and in the process take pressure off the water storage facilities and infrastructure. Listed below are a few tips for you to reduce your water consumption.
HOUSEHOLD APPLIANCES AND FITTINGS
- When purchasing new water using household appliances and fittings, be sure to choose products with high star ratings for water and energy efficiency. The Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS), allows consumers to compare the water efficiency of similar products. For more information visit www.waterrating.gov.au/consumers/index.html.
- Check out the Smart Approved Watermark website for a range of products which have been independently assessed and labelled with the smart water mark, to be sure that what you are buying is really going to save you water www.smartwatermark.org/home/default.asp.
- Always check for and repair leaking fittings and taps. A dripping tap can waste over 20,000 litres of water over a year. Reading and recording your water meter over a period of time where no one uses any water or everyone is out of the house, will tell you if you have a leaking tap, fitting or pipe.
- To test your toilet cistern for a leak, put a couple of drops of food dye in the cistern. Don't flush or use the toilet for a period of 10 minutes and check back to see if the food dye has appeared in the bowl. If the water in the bowl has food dye in it, you have a leaking cistern. An audible hissing leak in your toilet can waste over 100,000 litres of water over a year.
- Install aerators on kitchen taps to reduce the water flow from 15 to 20 litres per minute to between 5 to 10 litres per minute, depending on the aerator flow rating. Aerators will reduce the volume of water coming out of your tap without reducing your water pressure. You can receive a free DIY water saving kit including tap aerators from Sydney Water by registering on their website.
- Put a plug in the sink to wash and rinse vegetables and dishes.
- Choose a 3 star AAA rated and above dishwasher, which will use as little as 18 litres per wash. Old dishwashers without WELS ratings can use up to 40 litres or more per wash. Always use your dishwasher with a full load.
- Use pots with tight fitting lids to boil vegetables and set heat to a simmer rather than a rapid boil. This will save both water and energy.
- Try to use the washing machine with a full load or, if washing a small load, select an appropriate water level. If your washing machine has a water saving setting or economy cycle, use this setting as much as possible.
- Use laundry detergents which are phosphate free, low in salt and eco friendly. This not only helps the waste water treatment systems, but will be important if you decide to install a greywater reuse system. You can receive a $500 rebate for the installation of a permanent greywater system under the Australian Government National Rainwater and Greywater initiative. To find out more visit www.environment.gov.au/water/policy-programs/nrgi/index.html.
- The bathroom accounts for around 50% of water use in the home.
- Install a 3 star AAA rated showerhead to reduce water use and energy bills. The flow rate of an old style showerhead can be between 15 to 20 litres per minute whereas a water efficient showerhead has a flow rate of around 9 litres per minute.
- Limit showers to under 5 minutes.
- Install 4 star rated dual flush toilet. Old style single flush toilets use around 12 litres per flush, whereas 4 star rated water efficient toilets use around 4.5 litres for a full flush and 3 litres for a half flush. Check out the Sydney Water website to find out about their toilet replacement service.
- Install a rainwater tank and have it connected into your toilet to save potable water being used. You can access the NSW Government rebate for water tanks through Sydney Water, where you can receive up to $1,500 to have a rainwater tank connected to your toilet and washing machine.
- Put a trigger nozzle on all your garden hoses, as you can only use a garden hose with a trigger nozzle to water gardens.
- Wash your car on the lawn to take advantage of all the runoff. Detergents often have high levels of phosphates which are similar to fertilizers for your lawn.
- Choose a drought tolerant lawn species and water for longer, less often to promote deep root growth and drought tolerance.
- Choose plants with low water requirements and group plants with similar water
requirements together. To help determine what plants suit your garden, check
out Sydney Water's Plant Selector tool at www.sydneywater.com.au/Water4Life/InYourGarden/PlantSelector/WaterRatings.cfm
a water tank to harvest water from your roof for use in the garden, rather
than using potable water. To find out more about installing a rainwater tank
visit www.sydneywater.com.au/Water4Life/InYourGarden/RailwaterTanks and www.environment.gov.au/water/policy-programs/nrgi/index.html.
- Use a deep layer of mulch in your garden to retain moisture, reduce evaporation and add organic material to your soil.
- Install a drip irrigation system to deliver water to the areas you need it and reduce evaporation and wastage.
- Water in the evening or early morning to reduce evaporation.
- Check all outdoor taps and fittings regularly for leaks and fix immediately when discovered.
Kiama Municipal Council's 10kW Solar Photovoltaic System installed on its Administration Building
The Kiama Municipal Council Administration Building 10kW solar photovoltaic system (PV system) was installed over May and June in 2011 and started producing renewable energy for the building on 1st August 2011.
The PV system is expected to produce an estimated 15,060 kWh of electricity per annum, which is approximately 5% of the Administration Building’s energy consumption. Over the next 30 years the system will produce approximately 408,400 kWh of electricity for a cost of 13cents per kilowatt hour.
It is expected that the energy produced by the photovoltaic system will be fully utilised within the Council Administration building and there will be no exportation of electricity to the grid. This will maximise the benefit of the system which will be producing its maximum output at the peak times of use at the site.
The 10kW photovoltaic system was installed under the Waste and Sustainability Improvement Payments (WaSIP) program. This program is administered by the Office of Environment and Heritage and involves encouraging Councils to meet certain standards and requirements around waste and sustainability within the community and Council as an organisation.
As of 28 February 2013 the PV System has produced: 24,666 kWh
Last updated: Wednesday 20 March, 2013