We believe in leading by example, which is why we make every effort to use energy efficient technology wherever possible. So what exactly are we doing to lower our impact on the world around us?

Green Office and Depot Rating Tool

One of our most significant achievements to date is the development of the Ergon Green Office and Depot Rating Tool. This ensures all our new or refurbished buildings and depots are able to achieve at least a four-star Green Star rating. This has been possible through a partnership with Bovis Lend Lease and takes on a similar format to the Green Star criteria used to assess office accommodation.

Ingham depot leads the way

One of Ergon Energy's biggest success stories is our Ingham depot, which has been designed to provide a blueprint for energy efficiency in depots throughout regional Queensland. We constructed this facility with sustainability in mind, as well as ensuring the site could be as productive as possible. To ensure this is the case, we have installed a number of examples of energy efficient technology, such as sensor lighting and a green switch that turns off appliances after hours. This will reduce the amount of energy wasted, alongside lowering our average electricity bills. Water consumption is also high on our agenda, which is why we've installed a 94,000-litre rain storage tank, which will be used to service toilets, provide irrigation for gardens and be used in a wash down bay. Not only do these measures give our environmental credentials a boost, but also improve our response capability for customers in the surrounding area. You might be asking yourself what's next for our Ingham depot. We are planning on installing solar panels some time in the future and have already installed some, which will further reduce our carbon footprint.

Our Mackay workshop

We have already started on a new state-of-the-art workshop in Mackay, which will build on the success we've experienced in Ingham. This will be constructed in accordance with the Ergon Energy Office and Depot Rating Tool standard and also features a range of eco-friendly measures. Movement sensors are to be incorporated to reduce the amount of electricity used throughout the building, while similar technology will be used to govern air conditioning and security systems. Ergon Energy also has its sights set on providing power outlets for recharging electric cars in the car park - a move that will no doubt be welcomed by some of our workers!

Switching to solar power

Ergon Energy is a believer in the benefits of solar power, which is why we've decided to install solar panels across many of our buildings and infrastructure. We carry out a cost benefits assessment on each of these systems in order to ensure we gain maximum value out of any investment we make. One site where solar panels have already been installed is our Lake Street building in Cairns. The panels generate enough electricity to power around half of an average home with regional Queensland's power needs. Ergon Energy estimates this site alone will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 4.3 tonnes a year, making it a worthwhile investment not only for us, but also the environment.

Smart meters

Finally, we have made efforts to install smart meters at a number of locations throughout the Queensland area. This gives facilities managers the opportunity to see where energy is being wasted and whether any potential savings can be made. We hope this will eventually make our offices and depots more efficient and productive.