Case study

Midnight mysteries solved: How two libraries used EnergyFlex to uncover hidden energy savings

Public libraries, qld



Annual energy savings


Annual CO² reduction

How two libraries used EnergyFlex to understand their energy asset value and uncover hidden energy savings.

Two libraries in a Queensland council embarked on a pilot program to demonstrate the effectiveness of EnergyFlex in reducing energy costs and carbon emissions. This project aimed to explore how energy flexibility could benefit council-owned buildings and assets.

EnergyFlex conducted a detailed analysis of the energy consumption profiles of the two libraries over a two year period. Both libraries had commendable EnergyFlex ratings – of 3.9 and 3.5 – indicating successful use of solar energy but also highlighting potential areas for improvement.



Annual energy savings


Annual CO² reduction

The curious case of the midnight spikes.

At the Lunar Library (*not its real name), a pattern of energy usage emerged: energy use would start increasing at 6am when the air-conditioner switched on to prepare for the day, and power down around 6pm when the library closed.

But something strange was happening. Every weeknight, there’d be a spike in energy usage between 2am and 3am. Even curiouser, the spike was absent on weekends and public holidays.

Whatever was happening, it was costing the library around $1,022 annually and emitting 2.5 tonnes of CO² e unnecessarily.

The mystery of the consistent hum.

Meanwhile, Brightside Library (*also not its real name) displayed a different issue. Despite a solar system covering most daytime energy needs, the library had a baseline energy consumption of 9kWh outside operational hours – significantly higher than the expected “minimum heartbeat” of a building.

This constant energy usage was not only expensive, costing approximately $14,255 annually, but also environmentally costly, resulting in 35.65 tonnes of unnecessary CO² emissions.

‘The investigation revealed that at Lunar Library, the energy spikes were due to cleaners hitting the air conditioning boost button at the start of their nightly routine.’

Deeper insights with Mapping

Energyflex utilised a comprehensive approach to discover the energy asset value of each library including site visits, discussions with staff, and analysis of past energy usage.

The investigation revealed that at Lunar Library, the energy spikes were due to cleaners hitting the air conditioning boost button at the start of their nightly routine. At Brightside Library, the issue was identified as the HVAC system running continuously.

Recommended solutions.

For Lunar Library, the suggested strategies included reviewing the air-conditioning requirement during cleaning operations. Brightside Library was advised to review the settings of timer switches for the HVAC system seeking to safely reduce its operational hours.

Additionally, both libraries were advised to align their energy usage more closely with their solar production times. Simple, cost-effective measures like adjusting temperatures, turning off unnecessary lights, and moderating appliance use could release a significant portion of the hidden energy asset value leading to substantial substantial financial and environmental benefits.

The impact of EnergyFlex

This project underscored the importance of understanding energy consumption patterns and situational awareness.

Without the insights provided by the EnergyFlex app, the libraries might have continued to overlook the critical implications of their energy use timings and methods. The recommended changes, while straightforward, have the potential to significantly reduce both libraries’ operational costs and carbon footprint, illustrating the profound impact of targeted energy efficiency measures in public facilities.

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