How to decide what types of projects and energy saving goals are suitable for your Energy Master Plan.
Choosing the right projects to include in your Energy Master Plan is a balance between:
- Proportional representation of energy users in your community
- Knowing which projects are possible
- Understanding the available grants and tools to help
- The level of interest from different sectors
Energy Master Plan data
The Energy Master Plan includes an estimate of all the energy used in your community. This can be collected based on where the energy is used, what type of energy is used (oil, gas, coal, renewables), why the energy is used, where it comes from and how it is provided and who is using it.
When choosing what to include in your Energy Master Plan it is advised that you consider what energy you and your community use and then what users you have influence with. The intent of the Energy Master Plan is to equip you with the information that will guide the focus of the community projects over the next few years.
The projects should be evaluated based on how impactful their energy saving potential is and the ability to replicate these savings to similar buildings in the community.
The scope of the energy master plan will set out which buildings and projects to be assessed for consideration in the Register of Opportunities section of your Energy Master Plan. This is a list of potential projects and the comparable payback costs to help you decide which projects might be undertaken in the future and which order these projects should be done in.
You may be considering the retrofit of the local school with insulation and heating controls. The payback might be 3 years, while the cost of upgrading the local sports club with the same measures might be 15 years. So it makes sense to undertake the school work first, and then do the sports club at a later stage or when more co-funding might be available to support that project.
Questions to help
If the answer is yes to some or most of the following questions then it should be considered for inclusion in the scope of your energy master plan.
- Is the building accessible for the whole community? i.e. could it be used to demonstrate the sustainable energy solutions to the wider community.
- Is there capacity to undertake work in the next 1-3 years? Are there any matching funds that could be used to deliver upgrades to the building.
- What is the replication potential of the building? Buildings with high replication potential will have a greater long term impact on the whole community as others can participate in savings over the following years.
- Is the building rented or owned? If it is rented is the landlord willing to share in the investment costs of undertaking an upgrade?
- Will the energy savings be reinvested into other community projects in the future?
- Does the project represent additional value to the community by undertaking the upgrade?
- Does the project align with the aims of the Community Charter?
- When was the building built? Buildings built after 2006 typically have limited potential for very cost effective upgrades, while some older buildings can present additional costs such as rewiring or replumbing whole systems to accommodate upgrades resulting in higher costs.
- Can energy efficiency measures be applied without significant additional expense?
See more on the Register of Opportunities.
- When you decide what to include in your Energy Master Plan it is then time to complete the Energy Master Plan application form. Your mentor can help you with this.
- Once your Energy Master Plan application is approved and you have received your letter of offer it is time to select your external consultant. Your mentor has a list of known consultants and template tender documents to help you.