A step-by-step view at the cost, environmental and sustainable impacts that energy efficiency enhancements or an integrated energy strategy has had on different industries

  • Session Topic
    Energy Efficiency
    Energy Management
    Low Carbon Buildings

A step-by-step view at the cost, environmental and sustainable impacts that energy efficiency enhancements or an integrated energy strategy has had on different industries

4 Oct 2018, 11:10 AM - 12:30 PM

Room 217
English (Australia)

Chair: Charlie Knaggs, Principal - Energy & Climate Change, Point Advisory


Smarter Energy Use in Commercial Buildings: The Value of Intelligent Controls

Michael Joffe, CFO / Corporate Development, Zen Ecosystems

Attendees who join the 'Smarter Energy Use in Commercial Buildings: The Value of Intelligent Controls' session will learn about the drastic need for smarter energy management solutions and the strategies for implementing these systems across commercial building types, particularly in the retail, hotel and restaurant sectors. The session will explore opportunities for building owners to participate in utility programs for additional cost and energy savings. Finally, a case study will identify typical challenges for implementation and showcase the return on investment of a smarter energy management system. 

Energy use is a major operating expense for businesses. While technologies and innovations can reduce related costs, only 15 percent of commercial buildings report having building automation systems installed to manage energy use. Many commercial buildings have been slow to adopt energy management systems because of high fees and the complexity of installation and management when dealing with older hardware. These barriers present a dilemma when considering the massive opportunity: U.S. EPA estimates commercial buildings waste approximately $120 billion in energy costs annually. 

User-friendly cloud-based technologies make energy management accessible by reducing installation time and allowing busy building operators to “set it and forget it” with automated insights and controls. This avoids wasting bandwidth on manual adjustments, allowing facility managers to do more and save more. Michael will use the retail sector as a lens for exploring these energy management solutions, but the strategies and lessons learned can be implemented by facility managers across the commercial sector. 

With cost-effective energy management solutions, energy managers can decrease energy costs by 20 percent or more, which has the same bottom line benefit as a 5 percent increase in sales revenue. Demand response programs with utilities can also open up additional revenue streams for companies. 

Zen Ecosystems CFO Michael Joffe will speak to a typical retailer’s energy use and the scope of energy waste across the commercial sector. He’ll share the characteristics of effective commercial energy management solutions and an introduction on the basics of demand response. He’ll also explore strategies for adopting these tools within the context of a case study that highlights specific lessons learned and real-world results of implementing a commercial energy management system.


Delivering large scale Energy Efficiency in a live environment – lessons from a University Campus

Michael Snow, Senior Program Manager, RMIT University

University campuses are vast places and often contain a mix of building stock and technologies that span decades (sometimes centuries) of development and organic growth. At face value, tackling energy efficiency in such a challenging environment can appear to be a daunting task. But there are a number of energy efficiency opportunities that are unique to the campus layouts common to most Universities that can, and should, form the cornerstone of any energy or sustainability policy.

However, delivery of these initiatives is often technically challenging and there are rarely ideal times for implementation because these complex, built environments are always operational - with critical ongoing research activities and limited scope for the downtime requirement of any upgrade. 

This begs the questions; 

  • So, what sort of energy saving initiatives (including enabling works) would complement my campus - offering the greatest return on investment? And,
  • How do I implement these initiatives in a manner that appropriately manages risk, contributes to Learning, Teaching and Research outcomes, all whilst not impacting core operations?

At RMIT we believe that the Sustainable Urban Precincts Program (SUPP) answers these questions and more. The National Energy Efficiency Council agree and have awarded the SUPP the Best Smart Energy project award in 2017.

The initiative is a $128M commitment by RMIT to kickstart the University’s journey to reduce emissions from campus operations whilst improving campus conditions for our staff and students through aged asset replacement and technology upgrades. 

Delivered under an energy performance contracting framework with Siemens and Honeywell, the results speak volumes to the success that has been realised. RMIT is on track to significantly exceed our emissions reduction target of 25% by 2020 (2007 baseline) - and this is just the start of RMIT’s sustainability journey.

This presentation aims to share the process that RMIT have followed to scope and deliver the SUPP, the technologies / solutions that have been installed and the savings achieved so far in the RMIT emissions reduction journey. Those attending will leave with a greater understanding of the suite of solutions commonly deployed in projects of this type, as well as some of the commercial mechanisms available to explore in support of their own efforts. 


Sustainability in a commercial airport environment

Krishan Tangri, General Manager Assets, Brisbane Airport Corporation

Five years after the commencement of Brisbane Airport Corporation’s (BAC) energy efficiency program, BAC realised over 10.1 gigawatt hours of savings in grid electricity consumption and the attainment of carbon neutral growth for two consecutive years. Not stopping there, BAC also commenced construction of 6MW solar PV across 5 different sites, which will cut BAC’s grid electricity consumption by a further 18-20%, and simultaneously launched Queensland’s first fleet of electric buses, the largest fleet in Australia, which will transport passengers and staff between the terminals, Skygate and remote car parks.

Arguably, the reduction of grid electricity consumption is important both for the economic savings and the greenhouse gas emission reductions they produce, but it’s also good for shareholders. These initiatives not only met the shareholder's commercial return requirements but also fulfilled their sustainability drivers. In other words, commercial drivers have enabled innovation to create sustainability outcomes.

Continuing with the theme of sustainable innovation, lighting can now be viewed as a service. BAC contracted out the lighting of three multi-level car parks. This arrangement means that it’s in the service provider’s best interests to minimise their electricity consumption, with all fluorescent lights upgraded to LED lighting, saving 3.75 MWhrs of electricity consumption and almost 3,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per annum. This is equivalent to planting 21,000 trees per year. No upfront capital investment was needed to upgrade the lighting to LEDs. Instead, the lighting service provider installs it at their cost, with the money saved on improved efficiencies paying for the contract.

Combine these initiatives with HVAC optimisations, LED street lighting upgrades, LED lighting upgrades in buildings and terminals, various lighting control upgrades and solar street lighting, BAC has demonstrated time after time, that growth can be sustainable. It just needs to incorporate innovation. 

With over 23 million passengers arriving and departing from Brisbane Airport in 2017 and continued growth forecast, BAC’s scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions have now peaked. From here on, we will successfully de-couple emissions from growth, without compromising shareholder return.


An innovation story on applying an Integrated Energy Strategy at Vicinity Centres                          

Nick Irvine, General Manager – National Operations, Vicinity Centres 

Vicinity Centres is one of Australia’s leading retail property companies with a portfolio of more than 80 shopping centres. Nick Irvine, in his role as General Manager – National Operations, oversees Vicinity’s Integrated Energy Strategy which was developed with four key pillars:

  • Renewables – including solar and solar glass – Vicinity is building Australia’s largest-ever property solar program with more than $75 million being invested behind the meter across Australia.
  • Storage – battery, electric vehicles – Vicinity, as part of the solar program, is creating the largest battery installation at an Australian shopping centre.
  • Efficiency – electrical, mechanical, smart cities – this includes upgrading LED lighting, cloud level control of centres/assets
  • Management – demand response, microgrid, operation energy management platform

Vicinity’s innovation pipeline includes trialing these technologies along with pilots in robotics, artificial intelligence, waste and bioenergy.


  • Charlie Knaggs


    Principal - Energy & Climate Change

    Point Advisory

    Charlie advises corporate and government clients in the areas of climate change and energy. His expertise lies in energy efficiency, energy...

  • Michael Joffe


    CEO / Corporate Development

    Zen Ecosystems

    Michael Joffe is the co-founder of Zen Ecosystems™ and an entrepreneur with a track record for successfully founding technology companies. An expert...

  • Michael Snow


    Senior Program Manager

    RMIT University

    Michael is the Senior Program Manager at RMIT University responsible for the management delivery of the Sustainable Urban Precincts Program Energy...

  • Krishan Tangri


    General Manager Assets

    Brisbane Airport Corporation

    Krishan is an industry recognised Executive Leader with more than 25 years’ experience in infrastructure, facilities and construction management with...

  • Nick Irvine


    General Manager - National Operations

    Vicinity Centres

    Vicinity Centres is one of Australia’s leading retail property owners and operators with a portfolio of more than 80 shopping centres and $26 billion...

Opening Times
Wed 3 Oct Exhibition 9.00am – 5.00pm
Wed 3 Oct Networking Event 5.00pm - 6.30pm
Thur 4 Oct Exhibition 9.00am – 5.00pm

Registration opens 8.00am

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