ACT Rugby Union Club – leading the way in sustainability

The ACT Rugby Union Club joined both the ACTSmart Business Energy and Water Program and the ACTSmart Business Recycling Program in July 2012.

An energy and water assessment was conducted by the ACTSmart assessor in July 2012 identifying that approximately 30% of total electricity costs was from lighting in the club.  There was also a significant cost associated with replacement and maintenance of the current lighting systems.

Taking on board recommendations from the report, the club is upgrading a majority of their lighting to energy efficient LED’s.  It is estimated that:

  •  the install of LED’s will result in a saving of 86% for lighting costs, equating to more than $10,000 saved off energy bills per year
  • associated emissions will be reduced by 54 tonnes per year
  • the payback period for the upgrades will be under 1 year
  • burn-outs, maintenance costs and replacements will be reduced. Aesthetics will be improved with less burn out of globes.

Additional to the lighting upgrade, there have been savings identified by getting rid of heat pump water heater units.  The current units are unsuitable for their application or the Canberra climate, and are currently on electric boost majority of time, using approximately 10% of the club’s electricity usage.  It is estimated that by installing an instant gas system, the club will achieve annual savings in excess of $3000 and reduced emissions of over 15 tonnes per year, as well as having better control of the unit.

The Rugby Union Club has also been working through the ACTSmart Business Recycling Program, and since joining the program has reduced the amount of waste it sends to landfill by 26%.  The Club met accreditation standards in March 2013, and now recycles mixed recyclables (glass, plastics, cardboard, paper, milk and juice cartons, aluminium and steel), as well as organics from the kitchen.  The Club has also installed public area recycling to allow patrons to recycle in the club just as they do at home.

For more information on the ACTSmart programs, visit or call Canberra Connect on 13 22 81.