Business & Investment

Energy efficiency best practice guidelines

The Energy Efficiency Best Practice Guides have been developed by Sustainability Victoria to lead decision makers and service providers through changes that deliver best practice solutions to business.

The guides will help businesses determine the limitations of their existing systems and guide them through the process towards finding the best solution in improving their existing system or designing a new system.

Best practice guides have been developed for:

  • Data centre and IT facilities
  • Industrial refrigeration
  • Compressed air systems
  • Lighting
  • Pumping systems
  • Steam, hot water and process heating systems.

Data centre and IT facilities

Data centre facilities typically consume 35-50 times the amount of energy that a comparably sized office space uses and contributes large amounts of CO2 into our environment.

The Energy Efficiency Best Practice Guide for Data Centre and IT Facilities is a step-by-step guide to improving energy efficiency in small to medium sized data centres and information technology server facilities, up to 100m2.

This guide provides basic information on system operation and outlines opportunities for improving system performance and efficiency, delivering cost savings to business and reducing carbon emissions.

Improving the efficiency of data centres and IT facilities makes good business sense. It can help business to:

  • decrease operating and energy costs
  • increase resilience and reliability
  • increase accessibility and use of a facility
  • increase adaptability of a facility into the future
  • decrease greenhouse gas emissions.

Data centre and IT facilities efficiency improvements can have payback periods from as little as several weeks to just a few years. 

Document | PDF | 1135KB
Energy Efficiency Best Practice Guide for Data Centre and IT Facilities

Industrial refrigeration

Refrigeration can be responsible for up to 85% of energy costs. The Energy Efficiency Best Practice Guide to Industrial Refrigeration is a step-by-step guide to improving energy efficiency in industrial refrigeration systems. It provides basic information on system operation and outlines opportunities for improving system performance and efficiency, delivering cost savings for business and reducing carbon emissions.

Improving the efficiency of refrigeration system makes good business sense. It can help business:

  • reduce energy costs
  • reduce operation and maintenance costs
  • improve system reliability
  • improve safety
  • increase productivity
  • better match refrigeration load and equipment capacity
  • improve the working environment
  • reduce resource consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
Document | PDF | 662KB
Energy Efficiency Best Practice Guide to Industrial Refrigeration

Compressed air systems

A compressed air system can account for 10% of overall energy costs. Improving the efficiency of compressed air system makes good business sense.

The Energy Efficiency Best Practice Guide to Compressed Air Systems is a step-by-step guide to improving energy efficiency in these systems. It provides basic information on system operation and outlines opportunities for improving system performance and efficiency, delivering cost savings for business and reducing carbon emissions.

It can help business:

  • reduce operating costs
  • improve system performance
  • reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Document | PDF | 902KB
Energy Efficiency Best Practice Guide to Compressed Air Systems

Lighting

Lighting can be responsible for up to 50% of energy costs. The Energy Efficiency Best Practice Guide to Lighting is a step-by-step guide to improving energy efficiency in lighting systems. It provides basic information on lighting and outlines opportunities for improving the operation and performance of equipment, delivering cost savings for business.

Good lighting does more than just illuminate an area.

It can help business:

  • reduce running costs
  • improve the working environment
  • improve safety
  • improve aesthetics
  • improve colour rendering
  • reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The Energy Efficiency Best Practice Guide to Lighting has been designed to lead decision makers and service providers through changes to lighting systems to help deliver best practice solutions to business.

The guide can help determine the best level, colour and lighting technology for business and suggests a process to achieve best practice including:

  • determining lighting requirements
  • auditing existing lights
  • ranking options
  • implementing preferred option
  • assessing the effectiveness of improvement.

There are many opportunities for cost-effective retrofits to an existing lighting system. In fact, it is possible to increase lighting levels and use less energy if the most efficient technology and practices are used.

Document | PDF | 677KB
Energy Efficiency Best Practice Guide to Lighting

Pumping systems

Pumping applications are currently estimated to account for around 10.8% of electricity in the industrial and commercial sectors.

Through simple techniques such as those shown below, you can significantly cut this energy use.

Energy savings method  Savings 
Replace throttling valves with speed controls  10-60% 
Reduce speed for fixed load  5-40% 
Install parallel system for highly variable loads  10-30% 
Replace motor with a more efficient model 1-3% 
Replace pump with a more efficient model  1-2% 

This document is a step-by-step guide to improving energy efficiency in pumps and pumping systems for industry. It provides best practice information on pumps and pumping systems and outlines where opportunities for improving system performance and efficiency will lead to reduced energy use and benefit your business.

This guide will address common questions such as the below, and help you determine the changes that can be made to improve the equipment performance, reduce operating costs and improve environmental outcomes.

  • What are the basic components and principles of pumping systems?
  • How can I tell if the pumping system is functioning efficiently?
  • What are the areas where pumping systems can be improved to operate more efficiently?

The guide has been developed to lead decision makers and service providers through system changes; it is not intended to be a thorough technical guide.

Document | PDF | 1085KB
Energy Efficiency Best Practice Guide to Pumping Systems

Steam, hot water and process heating systems

Steam generation systems has been shown to account for 34% of all energy used in production and  process heating systems can account for 17% of total industrial energy use.  Typically, energy improvements of 10% or more can be made relatively easily through maintenance and low cost, straightforward improvements. The financial rewards of these are often immediate or have a very short payback.
Techniques to lower boiler energy use are shown below:

Energy savings method

Energy savings

Improved operation and maintenance of boilers

Up to 5%

Improved water treatment and boiler water conditioning

Up to 2%

Total dissolved solids  control and boiler blowdown

Up to 2%

Blowdown heat recovery

Up to 3.75%

Boiler and burner management systems, digital combustion controls and oxygen trim

Up to 5%

Combustion air preheating

Up to 2%

Increase boiler feedwater temperature by 7°C 

Up to 5%

Economisers

Up to 5%

This document is a step-by-step guide to improving energy efficiency in steam, hot water & process heating for industry. It provides best practice information and outlines where opportunities for improving system performance and efficiency will help you reduce costs and benefit your business.

This guide will address common questions such as the below, and help you determine the changes that can be made to improve the equipment performance, reduce operating costs and improve environmental outcomes.

  • What are the basic components and principles of steam, hot water & process heating systems?
  • How can I tell if the steam, hot water & process heating system is functioning efficiently?
  • What are the areas where steam, hot water & process heating systems can be improved to operate more efficiently?

The guide has been developed to lead decision makers and service providers through system changes; it is not intended to be a thorough technical guide.

Document | PDF | 1387KB
Energy Efficiency Best Practice Guide to Steam, Hot Water and Process Heating Systems