Step 9: Lower your heating, ventilation and air-con costs

In 2012, air-conditioning-related energy bills cost Australians $9 billion. We also spent nearly $3.3 billion purchasing and installing new air-conditioning equipment.[1]
 
If that $3.3 billion had been spent on energy efficient equipment, then the $9 billion running costs could have been significantly reduced.
 
The amount of energy being used by HVAC systems is enormous:
  • Depending on how the building is being used, it’s estimated that 40-52% of total energy consumption in commercial buildings is being used by HVAC systems.[2]
  • It’s also estimated that HVAC is responsible for 43% of the electricity used in office buildings.[3]
 
These days, energy efficient HVAC equipment utilises innovations such as reverse-cycle capability, inverters, natural refrigerants, heat recovery systems and inbuilt thermostats. However, technology is not always the answer.
 
Reducing your HVAC costs can be as easy as turning off air conditioners and extraction exhaust fans at the end of the working day. As this section will show, there is a wide range of equipment and behavioural changes that you can make to reduce your HVAC energy bills.

 

  • 1. Cold Hard Facts 2, p.85, prepared by ‘The Expert Group’ on behalf of the DCCEE.
  • 2. Cold Hard Facts 2, p.73, prepared by ‘The Expert Group’ on behalf of the DCCEE.
  • 3. Cold Hard Facts 2, p.75, prepared by ‘The Expert Group’ on behalf of the DCCEE.

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