Scott’s gallery showcases simple sustainability solutions

Local business owner, Scott, wanted to improve the environmental sustainability of his photography business.

With help from the Business Energy and Water program, he was able to improve his business’s energy efficiency.

His efforts were rewarded with a Climate Choices business award.

The challenge

“When I decided to establish a gallery shopfront after running my business online for over a decade, environmental sustainability was a key priority for me,” Scott said.

“I was conscious of how much electricity a shopfront could consume with needing to heat and cool the space for the comfort of customers as well as maintaining an appropriate temperature for artworks.

“Given how critical lighting is to a gallery, we were particularly conscious of the large energy consumption and cost involved for running lots of lights.

The action

“Before we opened and during the fit-out we engaged with the ACT Government’s Business Sustainability team to ensure we were headed in the right direction.

“An assessor visited the space and conducted an energy and water assessment. They handed us a tailored report identifying where energy was being used and an action plan for how to improve our energy efficiency.

“They helped us choose energy efficient LED lighting to replace the existing fluorescent tubes, and a new reverse cycle air conditioner to replace the very old unit. We were even able to receive a rebate to help with the cost of these upgrades.

“In addition, we undertook our own initiatives to further reduce energy consumption and costs. We reduced lighting in backroom/storage areas by 50% and installed automatic timers for all lighting. We also improved draft sealing around doors and decreased our default thermostat settings for winter and increased for summer.

The benefit

“The Business Sustainability team calculated that installing new LED lighting and a new air conditioner would result in a saving of approximately $930 per year in energy costs (3,900 kWh in electricity).

“They encouraged us to apply for a business award and we were really pleased to receive the Energy and Water Star. The award sends a strong signal to our customers and staff that sustainability is one of our core values.

“While we’ve already made big strides in terms of energy consumption, we are continuing our sustainability journey, hand in hand with our staff. I’d encourage any business owner to contact the Business Energy and Water team to see what energy and financial savings are possible.”

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