Energy and greenhouse gas emissions
Approximately 20% of Australia’s Greenhouse gas emissions are from buildings. Electricity and gas consumption are the main components of Greenhouse gas emissions at Parliament House.
- Gas is used for heating, domestic hot water and catering equipment.
- Electricity is used mainly for office lighting and power, mechanical services, lifts, chillers, computer equipment, catering equipment, water features, the central waste plant and boosted hot water heating.
- Diesel and petrol make up the remainder of energy consumed.
Reducing energy consumption at Parliament House has been a high priority since the building was opened in 1988. Achievements include;
- Electricity consumption reduced by 39%
- Gas consumption reduced by 75%
- Greenhouse gas emissions reduced by 52%; and
- Total energy reduced by 58%
Energy conservation projects and strategies have included;
- replacing light globs with energy efficient types
- adjusting the operating times of lights and equipment so that it operates only when required
- installing a smarter building management system
- using heat from the main computer room to heat the swimming pool; and
- upgrading the air-conditioning and hot water systems with more efficient electronic controls.
To help Parliament House reduce greenhouse gases further, DPS also purchases 10% renewable energy from sources, like wind power, solar, mini-hydro and biomass, as accredited Green Power from our energy provider.
We recognise our achievements over the past 20 years in reducing energy consumption and embrace the challenge of further reducing our carbon footprint over the next 20 years.
Environment performance publications
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Objectives and targets
DPS has outlined its plans to save energy at Parliament House and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the DPS Energy Strategic Plan 2007-2010. Through timely replacement and maintenance of plant and equipment, the plan also aims to ensure reliability of the energy supply to Parliament House.
Tips on reducing energy
If you work at Parliament House, then keep in mind that that there are three major areas which consume energy in your work area:
- office equipment; and
- appliances in the kitchen.
Lighting makes up approximately 55% of a suite’s electricity consumption, office equipment 35% and kitchen appliances 10%. Air-conditioning the suite also consumes energy.
Some ways to reduce energy usage are listed below. Contact your relevant office support services if you need assistance in implementing any of these initiatives.
- Switch on less overhead lighting, and use task lights (eg desk lamps) if needed. Turn off the lights when they are not needed.
- Shut down computers and turn off printers, photocopiers, TVs and other office equipment.
- Enable power management options on computers, laser printers, copiers, faxes and scanners, avoid using screen savers and instead set monitors to “sleep” after a preset time.
- Unplug devices that use a transformer when not in use (eg battery chargers for mobile phones, PDAs etc).
- Turn off boiling water units and use kettles instead.
- Don’t use too many kitchen appliances and contact your office support services if there are appliances you need, rather than bringing these in yourself.
- Don't open windows and doors because it interferes with the air-conditioning system.
- If you have a user-control thermostat in your office, then lower the thermostat in the winter and raise it in the summer.
- Report on changes to suite occupancy (eg if the suite isn’t occupied during non-sitting periods, then the air-conditioning can be programmed accordingly).
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