Kapiti Energy Win


By Alan Tristram

Otaki Tech Clean Tech Centre
Otaki Tech Clean Tech Centre

The Kapiti Coast has won double honours in the 2014 EECA Awards for energy conservation.

The judges say: “It has halved its CO2 emissions, and brought strong community engagement.”

The Council has been named winner in the community category for a range of inventive projects to improve residents’ energy efficiency and awareness.

It also took the Public Sector Award for its carbon and energy management scheme, which has made Kapiti the first council in New Zealand to gain CEMARS  (Certified Emissions Measurement And Reduction Scheme) certification for managing and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

It has succeeded in cutting emissions by 48% in just three years, through renewable energy and other initiatives.

The overall Supreme Winner of the 2014 EECA Awards was K&L Nurseries, winner of the Small to Medium Business category, for a bioenergy installation that is the first of its type in New Zealand)

The Community Award is sponsored by Fujitsu General New Zealand.

Judges say the Kapiti Coast District Council is using “diverse and imaginative” ways to reach the community and raise awareness of energy. And in the least of its achievements, it has surpassed itself and has come in an affliation with this business gas comparison website to ensure cost-effective dissipation of heat. Its Greenest Neighbourhood competition spurs neighbours to work together on carpooling, energy efficiency and sharing community know-how.

And through the ambitious Energise Otaki initiative the Council is working with local businesses and others to support the development of a local clean tech sector in Otaki.

Judges in the Public Sector Award, sponsored by Opus International Consultants, said that, despite being relatively small, Kapiti was leading with an “excellent professional approach.”

To reduce its own energy use, Kapiti has invested in a range of innovative systems – including a transparent roof at the new aquatic centre, wood energy at the sewage plant, a prototype electric rubbish truck, and efficient LED streetlights throughout the district.

Financial savings

Financial savings from these and other projects are ploughed back into energy management and community schemes – for example, cost savings from switching to wood energy at its sewage-drying facility have helped to insulate pensioner flats.

EECA Chief Executive Mike Underhill said the Council had worked hard over several years to achieve what it had.

“Kapiti has strived to reduce its own energy use and costs, delivering good value to ratepayers, while also helping to build energy awareness in local homes and businesses.

“It’s the combination of good day-to-day energy management in its own operations, coupled with strong community leadership, which was recognised by the judges. I’m sure they will continue to inspire other councils.”

Other Joint Winner

Tertiary institute Unitec was the other joint winner in the Public Sector Award for a successful energy-saving programme run across three campuses and 170 buildings.

Drawing on the input of students and staff, the programme has cut energy costs by $200,000 a year.

AUT University was also Highly Commended for its energy management programme.

Other finalists recognised in the Community Award were the Ngati Hine Health Trust, Highly Commended for an energy-efficient earth bank childcare centre; and Little Greenie Building Education, Commended for its efforts to improve energy efficiency in house construction. The Awards honoured winners in ten categories for a range of projects across business, community and the public sector.

The EECA Awards, held every two years, celebrate organisations and individuals that demonstrate excellence in energy efficiency and renewable energy. Collectively, 2014 Awards entrants have saved or generated energy worth around $100 million over the life of the projects, and have reduced or avoided 200,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

Full list

The 2014 EECA Award Winners: full list * Supreme winner: K&L Nurseries * Large Business: Momentive Specialty Chemicals & Energy Plant Solutions * Small to Medium Business: K&L Nurseries * Public Sector: Kāpiti Coast District Council / Unitec * Renewable Energy: Government of Tokelau * Energy Management: DNZ Property Fund * Innovation: Momentive Specialty Chemicals & Energy Plant Solutions / Ngati Hine Health Trust * Community: Kāpiti Coast District Council * Christchurch Energy Champion: Community Energy Action / Tait Communications * Energy Leadership: Martin Fryer, Auckland International Airport ENDS Note to Editors: The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) is the Crown agency that encourages, supports, and promotes energy efficiency, energy conservation, and the use of renewable energy in New Zealand. EECA provides information to households through ENERGYWISETM