Energy Use and Climate Change
Operations at Perisher rely on cold winters, and with the changing climate it is increasingly more important for Perisher to reduce its energy consumption and minimise its carbon footprint. This is achieved through improvements to heating, lighting, and energy management systems.
Snowmaking represents the largest energy use from Perisher’s operations. Since 2005 $30m has been spent on snowmaking upgrades and there are now 133 auto lances, 39 tower fan guns, 12 auto mobile fan guns, and 16 manual fan & air/water guns in the snowmaking arsenal. The new automated snow guns operate on a TechnoAlpin system and are 9 times more efficient than the old style air and water guns. Further improvements in snowmaking infrastructure and technology are planned over the next few years to improve the efficiency and amount of snowmaking.
Some energy management systems that Perisher adopts are described below:
The review of Perisher’s Energy Policy
Perisher’s Energy Policy is regularly reviewed and underpins efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and to more efficiently use energy resources. The energy policy commits Perisher to acting responsibly with respect to energy use and to achieving best practice in energy management when carrying out its activities.
In conducting its operations, Perisher adopts the following principles of responsible energy use;
- Measure and continually monitor energy consumption
- Minimise energy use and greenhouse gas emissions
- Transfer energy use to renewable energy sources or lower carbon emission energy sources where it is sustainable to do so
- Offset GHG emissions where it is sustainable to do so.
Measure and continually monitor energy consumption
A target of Perisher’s EMS is to improve energy efficiency and reduce GHG emissions. Two comprehensive energy surveys were conducted, the first to identify the range of energy sources used and relevant rates of consumption, and the second identifying short and medium term opportunities for improving energy efficiency including making recommendations for more efficient space heating, lighting, domestic consumption, office automation, snowmaking and building design.
Minimise energy use and reduce green house gas emissions
A range of energy management initiatives have been undertaken, including;
- The replacement of a range of incandescent lighting with low watt long life fluorescent, LED and induction lighting;
- The roll out of a more energy efficient and automated snowmaking system which also has improved snow reliability and quality;
- The installation of remotely monitored and controlled energy management systems, to allow better control of electricity use resulting from lighting and heating;
- Staged upgrade of hand dryers to more efficient products;
- The installation of a power factor correction units and harmonic filters on various pieces of plant and lifts. The further roll out of these energy saving devices will continue in the future.
- Installation of high efficiency motors and variable speed drives on a number of chairlifts, with expected energy efficiency increases of up to 30%
Transfer energy use to renewable energy sources
From 2009-2012, 100% of the carbon generated from the consumption of diesel fuel by Perisher’s snow grooming fleet, courtesy buses and other relevant plant and equipment was offset through the purchase of certified carbon offsets. From 2013 onwards, the money previously used to fund the purchase of carbon offsets will instead be directed towards actively reducing energy consumption and meeting Perisher’s higher priority of energy management, namely to “Minimise energy use and reduce greenhouse gas emissions".
Encouraging Skitube Use
All Perisher staff are encouraged to use the Skitube to access the resort whenever possible, in order to reduce the kilometres driven to work and also provide a better experience for many of Perisher's guests by limiting the amount of cars travelling on Kosciuszko Road to Perisher Valley and Smiggin Holes. In 2003 Perisher introduced a requirement for all staff (save for some staff with exceptional circumstances) to travel on Skitube during certain peak periods and it is pleasing to note that Perisher's staff continue to actively support this initiative.
Fuel management system
Perisher has installed a computerised fuel management system, which monitors fuel use by operator and by vehicle type. This allows the control and measurement of fuel use and hence provides opportunities to better manage fuel consumption throughout the resort. The system will aid the monitoring of the fleet's overall performance and the assist with the scheduling of preventative maintenance.
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