Energy efficient equipment

Computers and office equipment such as printers, photocopiers and fax machines can typically contribute between 30 and 55 per cent of tenant energy use. When evaluating purchase options companies need to consider not just purchase price, but day to day running costs.  With the rapid rate of development in equipment, efficiency of most items has at least doubled in the last ten years. Choosing or leasing the right office equipment will have significant impacts on your energy use and costs. Audits, energy ratings and staff behaviours will all help your organisation make efficient choices.

Key elements

Energy efficient equipment overview

Equipment efficiency can be improved by upgrading to new models, automation and behaviour change.

Undertaking an equipment audit

Energy equipment audits identify areas for attention and action for savings. The scope can range from a simple walk-around checking what is left on after hours to an extensive review by an energy efficiency professional.

Related resources

Greening your Information and Communications Technology (ICT)

Greening your Information and Communications Technology (ICT)

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) can account for up to 65% of an office's energy use. Get an introduction to greening your office ICT including practical actions and start the conversation with your ICT department to find out how your organisation can work together to achieve greater energy and cost savings.

Fifth Estate ebook - Green ICT

Fifth Estate ebook - Green ICT

How much energy are your computers and office equipment using? What effect does all that equipment have on your office cooling bill? What’s happening to all your old equipment? And how green are the data centres your business depends upon?

This free Green ICT ebook aims to help clear up some of these questions and provide some simple solutions to make sure your ICT is running as efficiently as possible.

CitySwitch Energy Audit Toolkits

This Energy Audit Toolkit set has been developed to assist non-technical or semi-technical energy managers in small to medium organisations identify actions to improve energy efficiency through the use of a simple but detailed audit checklist and develop plans for implementing energy efficiency actions.

Energy Star

The ENERGY STAR is a voluntary label that indicates excellent energy performance for computers, monitors, printers and whitegoods. Products with the label are third-party certified based on laboratory testing.

Top tips for working paper free

Hear from one City of Sydney green champion about how she approached the challenge of going paper-free in the office including useful apps and other resources.

Energy efficiency certification scheme

This certification scheme offered by the Energy Efficiency Council certifies professionals that can lead comprehensive energy retrofits of commercial buildings. Certification helps building owners and managers find professionals they can trust and provides a benchmark for energy efficiency professionals.

Computer Audit Tool

A simple Computer Energy Management tool, developed by CitySwitch. Click to download a Microsoft Office Excel spreadsheet that makes it easy to calculate the greenhouse and financial impact of computers left on overnight.

Data centre energy audit subsidies

The NSW Energy Saver program is offering eligible businesses a 50% subsidy for Data Centre Energy audits when combined with a NABERS Data Centre rating to help businesses identify opportunities for improvement and cost savings.

Allocating Data Center Energy Costs and Carbon to IT Users

An overview of measuring energy cost and allocate carbon emissions by Schneider Electric. It is both easy and inexpensive for any data center to get started regardless of size or age.

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Case studies

Case Study: Cameron Chisholm Nicol

Case Study: Cameron Chisholm Nicol

The Perth tenancy of architecture and interior design practice Cameron Chisholm Nicol is testimony to the organisation's energy efficiency and carbon neutral commitment. They have achieved energy cost savings of 30 per cent and a 4.5 star NABERS Energy rating.

Case Study: 135 on King

Case Study: 135 on King

135 on King, a Knight Frank Management office in Sydney, has improved its NABERS Energy Rating from 3 to 5 stars. Energy savings were achieved through low cost technical upgrades, staff behaviour change programs and by aligning energy-consuming operations with staff hours. 

Case Study: Stockland

Case Study: Stockland

A move to a new Sydney office provided Stockland with a renewed focus on achieving 'best practice' operations. Their efforts paid off with a 5 star NABERS Energy rating achieved and the satisfaction of generating 49 per cent less CO₂ emissions than an average tenancy.

Case Study: Norton Rose

Case Study: Norton Rose

The Sydney tenancy of international legal practice Norton Rose, was able to save around $42,000 per annum
through technical upgrades and staff engagement. An internal sustainability guide, personal footprint reporting and move away from paper based filing, was key to their success.

Case Study: Public Transport Ombudsman

Case Study: Public Transport Ombudsman

The Public Transport Ombudsman Victoria addressed the efficiency of servers, hot water, shredders, computers, lights and more and used the resultant cost savings to purchase 50 per cent GreenPower. The improvements led them to save the equivalent of 11,455kg CO2 per year.

Case Study: Synergy

Case Study: Synergy

Synergy, Western Australia's largest energy retailer, used an office refit to address energy efficiency and embrace sustainable principles. They undertook low-cost lighting modifications, consolidated office equipment and worked hard to engage staff in their quest to reduce energy.

Case Study: Wood & Grieve Engineers

Case Study: Wood & Grieve Engineers

Wood & Grieve Engineers has maximised sustainability within their Sydney based tenancy through delamping, minor technology upgrades and staff education. As a result they have reduced energy consumption by 10 per cent and saved over $6,000 per annum.

Case Study: WISE Employment

Case Study: WISE Employment

WISE Employment has taken a holistic approach to managing their impact as they strive for carbon neutrality across their Melbourne offices. Measures include a lighting hardware and control system upgrade, a Green Champions program for staff and office equipment upgrades.

Case Study: Herbert Geer

Case Study: Herbert Geer

Herbert Geer Lawyers have maximised sustainability across their Melbourne and Brisbane operations by switching to server virtualisation. This has resulted in reduced hardware and other resource needs, cut power demand and translated to savings of over $10,000 per annum.

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Search resources

CitySwitch Signatory of the Year and New Signatory Awards - category judging criteria

  • Delivering outcomes as demonstrated by an improved or maintained current NABERS Energy rating and achieved energy savings* (up to 28 points)
  • Implementing one or more energy saving initiatives (up to 10 points)
  • Demonstrating leadership by undertaking innovative, creative or progressive office energy efficiency activities (up to 10 points)
  • Engagement of staff/ customers/suppliers and/or stakeholders to educate and create market transformation (up to 10 points)
  • Participation in CitySwitch local program activities (up to 10 points).
Note, new Signatories submitting for New Signatory of the Year Award need only complete an indicative rating – all other submissions must be accredited.

CitySwitch Partnership of the Year Award - category judging criteria

Eligibility Criteria

Submitted projects should:

  • Involve more than one registered company 
  • Demonstrate that they are  innovative and over and above “business as usual”
  • Demonstrate that they catalyse “market transformation” and or “address a market barrier”
  • Deliver a reduction in energy consumption and carbon emissions within the built environment 

Judging Criteria

  • Delivering outcomes as demonstrated by an improved or maintained current NABERS Energy rating and achieved energy savings* (up to 14 points)
  • Implementing one or more energy saving initiatives (up to 10 points)
  • Demonstrating leadership by undertaking innovative, creative or progressive office energy efficiency activities (up to 17 points)
  • Engagement of staff/ customers/suppliers and/or stakeholders to educate and create market transformation (up to 17 points)
  • Participation in CitySwitch local program activities (up to 10 points)
  • The submitting entity MUST be a CitySwitch Signatory
Note, Signatories submitting for the Partnership of the Year Award may submit an accredited NABERS tenancy, whole building or base building rating.

It’s easy and free to join the program. Your good-will commitment to the program is an acknowledgement of the business sector’s role in
contributing to environmental sustainability and your intention to reduce your own energy consumption and associated carbon emissions.

As part of this, Signatories to the program commit to achieve an accredited NABERS Energy tenancy rating (between 4 and 6 stars) and
work with CitySwitch to improve their tenancy’s environmental performance.

Find out more about how obtaining a NABERS Energy rating ensures you can benchmark your performance, better manage your progress
over time and promote your star rating achievement.