Energy - What You Can Do

Action plan

This framework has been placed with Water to form the action plan for Utilities.

There are a number of ways you can help us to save energy:

  • turn your computer off at the end of the day (at the power point is best)
  • turn off your lights when you're the last to leave a room
  • draw your curtains during the warmer parts of the day to help lower the temperature
  • keep windows and external doors closed when your refrigerated air conditioning is running to reduce leakage
  • turn your air conditioning off for the last hour of each day
  • set your thermostat lower in winter and higher in summer
  • dress appropriately for the seasons (this will help with the point above!)
  • encourage your fellow staff or students to do the same and help to build a culture of energy efficiency throughout the university
  • send us your ideas on improving our energy efficiency (hyperlink to email)
  • take a look at these short film resources [doc 17kb]

What we are doing

Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Installations

We recognise that onsite generation of renewable energy is an integral component of what we need to do to reduce our carbon footprint and maintain our carbon neutrality.  We are focused on reducing energy wastage, improving efficiency, getting off natural gas and lowering emissions through our 2030 Clean Energy Strategy.

We have significant solar installations across our regional campuses

  • 99 kW at Dubbo campus
  • 156 kW at Port Macquarie campus
  • 1,774 kW at Wagga Wagga campus
  • 448 kW at Albury-Wodonga campus
  • 700 kW at Orange campus
  • Bathurst campus will increase from 40 kW to 1344 kW (online late 2020)

Charles Sturt University will soon complete Phase 2 solar installations of that will provide the University with over 2500 kW of renewable energy across its Albury, Bathurst, Dubbo and Orange campuses. The installation will add to the existing 1700kW solar energy generation at our Wagga Wagga campus.

The total solar on-site installations across our campuses will be 4,521kW

This amount of carbon dioxide saved each year is equivalent to:

  • 1032 Australian houses
  • Driving a car 33,716,838 km or driving around Australia 2324 times.

On-site renewable energy generation is a critical part of the University’s aspirations to source all of its energy needs from renewable sources. We are creating an environment that prepares students to meet current and future challenges. Cadet engineers have been a key part of the team managing these installations.

Solar at Wagga Wagga Campus

The Solar photovoltaic (PV) panels have been installed on the rooftops of 17 buildings at our Wagga Wagga campus. At the time of installation, this system was the largest rooftop-mounted solar energy system on a single site, anywhere in Australia. This project will significantly increase the proportion of our energy that is supplied from clean sources and will reduce our carbon footprint.

Specific buildings have been fitted with rooftop-mounted solar panels where the energy generated by these panels will, in the first instance, supply energy demands in the building and then any surplus energy is exported back into the campuses own private high-voltage network. This means that the energy generated by the solar panels can be used by any building on the campus.

This amount of carbon dioxide saved each year is equivalent to:

  • 405 Australian houses
  • Driving a car 13,230,186 km or driving around Australia 912 times. 

How do solar panels work on campus?  View illustration

Birdseye view

Produced by the School of Communication and Creative Industries

Energy Performance Contract

An Energy Performance Contract helps improve energy and water efficiency across a range of buildings. The energy savings calculated in the contract are guaranteed.

These are the steps involved in the process:

  1. Conduct a feasibility study to identify energy saving opportunities, including the expected savings and costs of each opportunity
  2. Undertake the work in each building identified in the study
  3. Produce a measurement and verification report each year for seven years (following an internationally accepted protocol) to confirm the expected savings are being achieved. If these savings are not being achieved, the contractor is responsible for making up the difference.

The energy savings opportunities we've included in our EPC are:

  • replacing lighting with efficient LED fittings
  • modifying the air conditioning control strategies to improve the efficiency
  • upgrading air conditioning systems to more efficient technologies.

EPC Poster [pdf 1.2mb]

Sub metering

We have a comprehensive network of sub meters. Over 500 sub meters cover electricity, gas, water and thermal energy (chilled and hot water) across all of our campuses.

The meters help us to measure and monitor where we're using our energy to identify the largest energy users and focus efforts on improving their energy efficiency. We'll also see abnormal trends in energy usage and can investigate why these are occurring.

Frank Tibbitts with screens showing energy usage monitors and graphs