Energy Management Programme delivers strong savings

Published on 23 July 2019

Energy lightbulb.

Horowhenua District Council’s Energy Management Programme is delivering strong savings, with 1,140,000 kWh of energy consumption avoided since it began in May 2017.

General Manager Horowhenua 2040 and Partnership Development Nicki Brady said $280,000 of energy related costs had been avoided through a combination of $110,000 from energy consumption reductions and $170,000 from tariff changes and careful account management. This includes one off and ongoing savings.

“Our programme is quite broad. It includes reviewing our energy accounts to ensure we have appropriate metering and tariffs. We also track our energy consumption and costs, both across the organisation and at specific sites. Problems and inefficiencies are easily detected and dealt with promptly. More recently we have also carried out energy audits at the Levin Aquatic Centre, Council Civic Building and Te Takeretanga o Kura-hau-pō, and an energy systems optimisation review at Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom,” she said.

Mrs Brady said the two-year programme was the culmination of a longer journey towards energy efficiency outcomes.

“We started trying to manage our energy better in 2012, with raising staff awareness and training, reporting and monitoring our power consumption. That put us in a good position to enter a formal partnership programme with advice and funding from Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) and practical support from energy management specialist Smart Power in 2016,” she said.

Mrs Brady said the focus on energy management has put Council in a stronger position to meet the demands of growth in the district efficiently and cost-effectively.

“In 2012, Council had 142 active power and gas connections, and we spent approximately $1,176,000 per year on energy. In 2019, despite huge growth in the district, increased demand for council services and an increase to 162 active connections, our energy costs have actually reduced slightly to $1,094,000 per year,” she said.

“We’re proud of what we’ve achieved, and although our two-year monitored programme with EECA is now complete, our energy management focus remains active.”

EECA Account Manager Graham Dray said it was good to see a district council doing the right thing.

“Taking action on energy can be a challenge for an organisation with limited resources and multiple priorities. Horowhenua District Council has shown that saving energy is achievable and small steps can add up to a great outcome,” he said.

Smart Power Director Anne Herrington said working with Horowhenua District Council had been a positive experience.

“It’s been good working with a small council that’s trying hard to save energy, and continues to identify opportunities for further improvements. Horowhenua District Council has been proactive and responsive throughout, and we’ve forged a successful partnership which has delivered for the organisation and the community,” she said. 

Council had also received positive feedback from the community, Mrs Brady said.

“Energy consumption was raised in an Annual Plan submission, and we were able to outline the programme we have in place. The submitter has told us it’s good to see Council taking positive action on this.”