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Organisation Information

Sustainability in the Office of Public Works

Published: 14 November 2019
From: Office of Public Works


Optimising Power @ Work is the OPW’s staff energy awareness campaign, which runs in all large Civil Service buildings and some government agencies throughout the State.

The initiative aims to change staff behaviour towards energy use and eliminating energy wastage within our buildings.

One of the main factors for the success of Optimising Power @ Work is that every building has been fitted with equipment that automatically logs energy usage. The data is used to set targets and prepare energy reports on individual buildings.

To date, average energy savings of over 18% have been achieved in the participating buildings.

History of Optimising Power @ Work

The OPW has been involved in energy conservation since the early 1990s. In the past, one of the barriers to running a staff energy awareness campaign was the difficultly in recording and reporting on the results. It was difficult to maintain the drive without prompt and accurate feedback of the results.

However, new technologies have provided solutions to this problem. In recent years, the OPW has installed energy-logging equipment, which utilises Internet communications technology in all large (>1,000m2) State buildings. Energy consumption data for each building is monitored, collected and stored on a central Web server. This data is then used to generate reports and monitor the performance of each building.

A State-wide energy conservation campaign, entitled “Optimising Power @ Work”, was launched in January 2008. The aim was to achieve a reduction of 15% in annual carbon dioxide emissions in about 250 large buildings around the country, which are owned or leased by the OPW for use by government departments and agencies.

The project’s focus was to implement an intensive staff energy awareness campaign in each building, ensuring buildings were being operated efficiently while maintaining or improving comfort conditions. The project also included energy audits of the buildings. The campaign concentrated on changing attitudes and helping people to get results, tapping into their goodwill.

Current Programme

Phase 2 of Optimising Power @ Work began in June 2010.

The main aims of Phase 2 are to achieve:

  • a 20% average saving in 250 buildings
  • a minimum saving of 15% in each building (that is, those buildings that did not achieve a 15% saving in the original campaign are being targeted in the current phase to improve their performance)
  • a 5% further reduction in savings in buildings which have already achieved in excess of the 20% target

In general, the current programme is aimed at buildings which underperformed in Phase 1. We work with the energy teams in all the buildings to improve their energy performance and identify areas where efficiencies can be achieved.

Every building in the campaign has a night audit carried out to establish what equipment is running when the building is unoccupied. This is a key area where savings can be made. An audit of the settings on each building’s Building Management System is another focus area.The savings to date of around 18% would be higher except some buildings only recently joined the project. Therefore, this figure is likely to increase over the coming months as the energy teams in these buildings deliver results.

Sustainability Policy of the OPW

Sustainability Policy of the Office of Public Works