Power smart clubs

Many sporting clubs have grown significantly over the years and with this their demand for power has increased.

Power requirements for many clubs fluctuate between low to very high which is due to a number of factors, including:

  • the nature of many sports involving competition and training days, results in club power usage spiking on certain days and times throughout the season
  • many clubs have undertaken social room upgrades, which have included the addition of high energy using appliances; for example: deep fryers, bain maries, cool rooms, air conditioners
  • following changes in Australian Standards many clubs have sought to upgrade heir sports flood lighting to comply with minimum requirements, further adding to the load at peak usage times.

This following information will help facilitate clubs to become ‘power smart’ and to understand project requirements where electrical load needs to increase as part of capital improvement.

Power usage and saving power

Being efficient with energy is one of the easiest ways to manage demand for electricity and will help to minimise the need for power upgrades.

By reducing energy use, clubs will also:

  • reduce energy bills and
  • reduce the impact on the environment.

Power usage by clubs is reduced by:

  • choosing energy efficient appliances
  • improving the energy efficiency of existing appliances
  • making small changes to club rooms and
  • utilising off peak power periods where possible.

Choosing energy efficient appliances

When choosing an energy efficient appliance look for the following:

  • star rating - the higher the star the more energy efficient, do not compare stars across appliances compare them across models of the same type of appliances
  • consider the running costs as well as the initial purchase price
  • don’t purchase a more powerful or bigger item than you need.
Appliance power usage comparison
Appliance type Star rating Age Size (L) Power usage (Kw)
Fridge Single Door with Small freezer 3 5 300 334
Fridge Single Door with Small freezer 3 10 300 848
Fridge Single Door with Small freezer 3 5 450 1273
Chest freezer 3 5 300 535

Source: EnergyAustralia - Fridge Calculator

Improving energy efficiency - existing appliances

Small changes can help to reduce the energy demands and running costs of appliances.

Consider changes that can be made to reduce the power usage from some of the more power hungry appliances such as:

  • fridges
  • freezers
  • deep fryers and
  • air conditioners.

Tips to improve the efficiency of some appliances:

  • place fridges in locations where they have a gap of at least 80mm on all sides of the fridge - this allows sufficient air flow to facilitate cooling, especially over the coils
  • fridges should also not be placed near ovens, or windows that receive direct sun
  • replace worn or weak fridge seals
  • fridges that store non-perishable items can be placed on a timer and switched off at night
  • keep doors and windows shut when using the air conditioner
  • switch off appliances at the wall when not in use
  • consider gas powered deep fryers over electricity.

Clubroom modifications

Simple changes to club rooms can help reduce power usage. Consider the following:

  • installation of heavy window coverings on the inside to reduce heat entering and cold escaping
  • ceiling insulation if there is an accessible roof cavity
  • checking window and door seals
  • installation of skylights to reduce artificial lighting requirements
  • change all incandescent lights bulbs and low voltage downlights to fluorescent alternatives
  • changing to a gas hot water system (where available) or solar powered system.

Energy safety

With both overhead and underground cabling in many of our reserves it is imperative that clubs are aware of safety issues associated with large power supplies to club rooms and other assets.

Due diligence should be applied to all capital works as well as the maintenance and repair of existing electrical appliances and assets.

Guidelines for club managed electrical installations

Clubs considering the purchase or installation of electrical appliances must first seek council approval for these works. Before final approval is given, clubs need to consider the following:

  • where electrical load is being increased as part of a capital improvement to a building or asset, the project manager is required to provide written evidence to Council by a suitably qualified electrical engineer or tradesman, demonstrating supply capacity and theoretical maximum demand calculations for the site. (Site being the affected Council owned or managed property; in many instances this may include multiple users and/ or buildings within a reserve boundary)
  • any costs associated with increased demand are required to be incorporated into the project budget, including but not limited to:
    • authority charges
    • upgraded mains
    • switchboards
    • metering
    • safe asbestos removal
    • reinstatement of finished surfaces to a standard approved by Council's nominated superintendent
  • depending on the nature of the installation, endorsed plans and a schedule for works may also be required
  • all works are to be undertaken under the direct supervision of licensed tradesman in a controlled work space and only after Council has accepted insurance and OHS documentation
  • surface mounting of electrical conduits and supplies is not permitted without prior written permission from Council
  • certified as-built plans showing offsets from known points, asbestos clearance certificates (where applicable) and certificates or electrical safety are required to be submitted to Council within one week of practical completion, prior to the release of any final payments should a funding agreement exist
  • the club, or nominated project manager, are required to manage defects and liability works for a period of no less than 12 months from practical completion for assets, including sunken trenches, but excluding vandalism damage.

The above mentioned clauses are in addition to all supply authority and electricity retailer requirements.

Further advice is available through our Facilities Maintenance Department on 03 5272 4320.

Useful links


For further details and assistance please contact our Community and Recreation team by phone on 03 5272 5272 or by email ([email protected]).

Page last updated: Monday, 28 March 2022