Energy make-over improves lighting and amenity for Opal Aged Care residents

Australian aged care specialist Opal Aged Care (Opal) is installing more than 28,000 energy efficient LED lights and over 10,500 solar panels at 54 properties, in a program that is delivering an improved indoor environment for residents and staff.

The energy efficiency program is being managed by leading energy services business Verdia at aged care homes across New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland.

Roof-top solar at Opal Macquarie Place, Cameron Park NSW

The project is one of the biggest energy efficiency programs in the aged care sector and is expected to be complete by early next year.

The program will cut onsite grid electricity use by about 42 percent and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent as well producing a better standard of lighting across the 54 properties.

As part of the project, Verdia completed a series of trials at several properties to test technology and lighting quality. We spoke to staff and residents to get feedback and make sure the new lighting was comfortable, produced a better ambiance and helped those who needed a better light because of fading eyesight.

Warmer LED luminaires are being installed in bedrooms and living spaces to provide a more comfortable atmosphere, other LEDs in bathrooms and kitchens are brighter and provide better directional light.

Outdoor lights are more resilient to dust and water.

There will now be more tailored lighting solutions that are better suited to the different spaces within each of the facilities.

Verdia CEO Paul Peters said the lighting improvements would also produce better energy performance and was being delivered by teams of contractors working across three states.

Roof-top Solar at Opal Meadowglen, VIC

“About 80 electricians, installers and manufacturers are helping to deliver the program over six to nine months. It means that project benefits are delivered sooner,” Mr Peters said.

“There is a very big focus on quality and safety, but we’re still able to accelerate the program and deliver results in a short timeframe,” Mr Peters said.

“About 35 per cent of total energy consumption at a typical aged care facility is used for lighting. We’ll reduce the amount of energy consumed via more efficient LED technology and we are also helping Opal produce more of the electricity they require on-site via solar PV.

“All up we expect to cut electricity use by about 42% per cent across the 54 residential homes. That’s a very good environmental outcome, but it’s also helping to improve the operational efficiency of each facility.”

Opal Aged Care LED Lighting and Solar PV Program

State LED Lights Solar PV Energy Savings

(%)

Carbon Emission Savings

(tonnes CO2-e)

kW Panels
NSW 9,286 1,850 5,692 29 3,183
QLD 9,609 732 2,252 59 1,970
VIC 9,394 827 2,544 42 1,719
TOTAL 28,289 3,409 10,653 42 6,872

Solar System Comparisons

3.5 MW solar (10,653 panels) = enough to cover 78 (Doubles) tennis courts or 43 average suburban blocks

State Energy Savings

(MWh)

Enough to power Carbon Emission Savings

(tonnes CO2-e)

Equal to…
NSW 2,265 389 homes 1,880 1,055 cars off the road
QLD 1,074 147 homes 848 379 cars off the road
VIC 868 191 homes 938 675 cars off the road
TOTAL 4,207 727 homes 3,666 2,109 cars off the road

 

Read about Opal Macquarie Place at Cameron Park in NSW.