Bright idea saves power for the library

20 Apr 2016

UQ’s Green Office program has again helped facilitate a smart solution for long-term energy savings. Acting on a suggestion from a Green Office Representative, the Property & Facilities Division has rewired level 3 of the Duhig Tower—a simple move that will save 131,759.16 kilowatts per year, almost 22 times the average Australian household’s annual electricity consumption.

The recent decision to open the Social Sciences and Humanities Library 24 hours a day meant providing students access to study spaces while also keeping the library’s collections secure during unstaffed hours.

Level 3 of the Duhig Tower, however, has just one group study room, N311, that students can use at any time—and N311 was on the same circuitry as the rest of the floor. This meant that the entire level needed 24-hour lighting so that N311 could still be accessed after hours.

Barnaby Casson, the Green Office Representative for UQ Library Corporate Services, suggested that N311 be removed from the lighting circuit to save power, and the Property & Facilities Division has successfully instigated this change by rewiring level 3.

Dr Carlos Fujita-Dimas, Project Officer for Energy Management, explains that “now the whole floor can be shut down for 12 hours while leaving room N311 on,” which represents a huge return on investment and a dramatic reduction in energy usage.

As well as offering these significant energy and financial savings, the rewiring reinforces the benefits of UQ’s Green Office program and the fantastic outcomes that can be achieved when staff and students share their energy-saving ideas.