Vacation Village in Port Macquarie, near Coffs Harbour, is a holiday resort that I’ve visited several times over the last twenty years. On my last trip there in April, I was impressed by the moves they’ve made to reduce power use, recycle, and conserve water. They are proud to promote it, with a display of their achievements, under the motto that, “What we do today affects everyone’s tomorrow”. It really does show what can be done with some thought and investment, which would have paid off handsomely in operating costs. A few impressive stats:
- since 2004/5, VV has cut electricity use by 49%, through use of energy efficient lightbulbs, timers, and reverse-cycle air-conditioners in place of older heaters.
- a very inefficient pool heater was replaced with a heat exchange pump. This alone led to a saving of 49 000kWh during the first nine months of operation. This has meant a 21% reduction in total electricity use for the whole resort.
- apartments come with recycling bins, and green garden waste is mulched and used on the gardens. There are future plans to set up a worm farm and solar panels.
- water use has been reduced by 7.5% since 2005, with the installation of water tanks (45 000 litres), mostly used to supply the pool and water the gardens. Apartments have been also been fitted with water saving shower heads and dual flush toilets, which were not really available when the resort was built in the 1970s.