Berwicks’ offices equipped for sustainability

Berwicks Office Technology

First established in Brisbane in 1930, Berwicks Office Technology has supplied the latest in office technology to commercial businesses for over 80 years, making them the longest serving privately owned office equipment supplier in Australia.
With over 35 staff housed in a 900sqm building in West End, Berwicks’ vision is to deliver efficient and cost effective technology and service solutions for the B2B market. To help achieve sustainability within the business, Managing Director Warren Redhead turned to the Watt Savers program for practical advice, ideas and guidance on ways to reduce energy costs. 


Following an upgrade to a new digital metering system, Warren discovered that on occasion daily energy usage spiked above 100 amps, taking Berwicks over their energy provider’s allowable daily level. Without a fix to help reduce the energy drawn, these spikes would have required Berwicks to invest significant funds in increased power delivery infrastructure to comply with the energy provider’s provisioning policy.
Warren needed to decide to either spend more money to use more power, or use less power to stay under their allowable consumption cap.  The choice was obvious and a timely invitation to a Watt Savers workshop sponsored by Business South Bank was the perfect opportunity to find more sustainable and cost efficient methods for Berwicks to achieve energy savings.

“Prior to joining Watt Savers we were faced with a potential $13,000+ expense to upgrade electricity infrastructure to our premises. Now, as a result of implementing some key energy saving measures identified via the audit and also learned through the Watt Savers workshops and online tools, we are confident that Berwicks can achieve results in terms of cost savings and sustainability.”

Warren Redhead, Managing Director

The Experience

Although Berwicks’ journey is still in the initial stages, through the Watt Savers audit of current energy practices and consumption, key areas for reform were identified.  Areas audited included the HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems, staff behaviour modification for example shutting down computer systems and utilising alternative lighting sources such as LEDs. These areas translate to considerable savings when combined with a variety of improvements.

Lighting upgrades to save thousands of dollars and improve customer experience

Upgrading outdated or inefficient lighting systems can considerably improve energy efficiency and business sustainability. Prior to engaging Watt Savers, Berwicks’ parking garage contained 28 working double fluoro fittings estimated to have been installed almost 20 years previously. The state of function of the lights was seriously affected due to continuous use for 12 hours a day over this period. Running on a single tube and taking the fitting into account, each light was drawing approximately 44 watts each. 

After a Watt Savers audit Berwicks proceeded to replace the existing parking garage lights with 35 watt LED covered fittings. Allowing for the LED driver, the differential draw is 7 watts. As the lighting upgrade in the parking garage was just one part of a major 200 lighting retrofit Berwicks’ efforts are forecasted to reveal real energy savings that enable the company to stay well below the energy provider’s daily allowable level as the project progresses. In addition to the economic savings the new parking garage lights are considerably brighter making for a safer working environment for the staff and will not degrade in brilliance at the same rate as the original lighting. Further to this there are no tubes to replace leading to a maintenance saving of 16 hours per annum. 

Following the successful lighting upgrades in the parking garage Berwicks continued to replace all fluorescent lights in their showroom with LED, leading to a significant reduction in kWh and Amps. 
Bright lighting, low shadow and clear visibility are essential in Berwicks’ West End showroom. Management were keen to replace the old lighting to not only reduce energy consumption, but also improve the visual customer experience for visitors to their showroom and enhance their high value business machine displays.   
Post retrofit Warren cited aesthetic benefits of the upgrade plus a big bonus of not ever having to replace fluoro tubes again as an offset for the higher initial replacement cost.  The building contained nearly 200 fluoro fittings - that’s a lot of maintenance savings each year!
Alongside the cost benefits of the upgrade, the LED lighting is brighter, with no dull or flickering areas, providing a better visual experience for customers and staff.

“We have begun measures to upgrade things like lighting where it makes economic sense; we are also working on a program to encourage even minor staff behavioural change to collectively affect our use of energy. Our electrician estimates the lighting changes alone will save 30,000kWh each year and reduce greenhouse gasses by 20 tons.”

Warren Redhead, Managing Director