As a major electricity user and property owner in Australia we are committed to energy efficiency in all areas of our operations. We are measuring our energy consumption and implementing programs to ensure ongoing efficiency improvements. For example, between 2007 and 2011 as a result of our 'begreen' program we successfully reduced our annual total electricity consumption by 8% despite growth in our operations. Our journey of improvement continues. By 2020 we are aiming to electricity use by a further 10% compared to 2009 levels.
What we are doing
- We are constructing the largest commercial tri-generation power plant (cooling, heating and electricity) in Australia
- We are improving the efficiency of our lighting by taking steps such as adopting LED technology
- We are focused on improving the efficiency of our electrical appliances
- We have an internal 'Turn it off' campaign
- We support Earth Hour
How you could help
- In summer, instead of air-conditioning use a fan. If you must use air-conditioning try a slightly warmer temperature
- In winter, instead of a heater, wear a jumper. If you must use a heater try a slightly cooler temperature
- Check door and window seals to optimise insulation
- Consider a solar hot water system
- Turn off your appliances at the wall when not in use
- Switch to renewable electricity for your home, often called GreenPower
- Consider repairing or reconditioning old electrical appliances rather than replacing them (the embedded carbon cost of manufacturing a new appliance and disposing of the old one is often greater than the efficiency gains)
- If you are buying a new electrical appliance, choose a energy efficient model that has a high energy star rating
- Don't forget, every little bit helps
Case Study: Tri-generation power plant
As part of our strategy to reduce electricity consumption, we are implementing the largest commercial tri-generation (cooling, heating and electricity) project in Australia.
Two power plants will be constructed by energy company GridX to serve our Sydney headquarters, aircraft maintenance facilities, catering centre and T3 domestic terminal.
The project will produce 95,000MW/h and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by an amount equivalent to taking 7,000 cars off the road per year.
Tri-generation reduces electricity consumption by improving energy efficiencies compared with conventional coal-powered energy supply. It delivers about 80% efficiency as opposed to 35% for coal-powered energy.
Tri-generation uses a natural gas powered electricity generator, captures heat that would otherwise be lost, and uses that heat to produce hot and chilled water.
Construction begun in late 2011 and will be completed by mid-2012, under a 15-year Build, Own, Operate
and Maintain (BOOM) arrangement with GridX, an Australian energy provider to the residential, commercial and industrial sectors.
'The ability to produce cooling, heating and electricity generation simultaneously from a single fuel source shows the kind of quantum leaps we need to make in order to respond effectively to climate change,' says Russell Marsh, Policy Director for the Clean Energy Council, the industry association representing the clean energy and energy efficiency sectors.
More information about tri-generation technology
Tri-generation is the simultaneous production of three forms of energy: electricity, heating and cooling. A tri-generation system can provide power, hot water, space heating and air conditioning from a single system. Generators produce heat as they create electricity. A tri-generation facility captures this heat that would otherwise be lost and uses it to generate both hot and cold water.
The chilled water is created by an absorption chiller, which is generated by the excess heat and which operates like a refrigerator. It creates low temperature water to be used for air conditioning.
Tri-generation facilities are efficient for two reasons:
- First, they avoid the losses associated with the transport of electricity.
- Second, they capture waste heat which is normally lost. Tri-generation facilities, like the one proposed for Qantas, can achieve overall energy efficiencies of 75-85%, compared to only 35% on average for conventional supply of electricity from the grid.
Tri-generation facilities, like the one proposed for Qantas, can achieve overall energy efficiencies of 75-85%, compared to only 35% on average for conventional supply of electricity from the grid.
The tri-generation facility being constructed for Qantas would use gas turbine engines. These are a cost-effective and mature technology.
The tri-generation facility would use natural gas, the most common fuel for tri-generation due to its relatively low cost, ease of transport (via pipeline), wide availability and lower greenhouse intensity per unit of energy.
Case Study: Earth Hour
Qantas supports the Earth Hour's climate change awareness campaign. The year 2013 marks our seventh year participating in this important environmental sustainability initiative. Qantas again ran the Earth Hour TV commercial on domestic flights, promoted the Earth Hour message through Qantas controlled internal and external communication channels and coordinated a switch-off of all non-essential lighting and brand signage at Qantas facilities.
Carry on beyond the global 'switch off' by switching on to renewable energy.
Join Qantas Ambassador and Earth Hour Global Ambassador, Miranda Kerr as together our individual actions add up to make a real difference.
Spread the word to friends, family, employees, customers and communities to unite and protect our planet for present and future generations.