Three companies star in campaign to curb business energy waste

Thursday, 04 February, 2010

Three New Zealand businesses are to showcase their energy efficiency on national TV, with the start of a campaign promoting the benefits of energy management.

New Zealand's Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) produces The Energy Spot - one-minute episodes promoting home energy efficiency on prime time TV - and the episodes will switch to a business focus for three weeks in February.

The episodes profile real-life success stories from companies that are saving money through smarter energy use. The Novotel Hotel in Ellerslie, Auckland; Winstone Aggregates in Hunua, Auckland; and Carter Holt Harvey’s Kinleith pulp and paper mill in Tokoroa are all featured in the episodes.

About the three energy-saving programs:

Carter Holt Harvey’s staff involvement: The company taps into good ideas from its own staff to find energy savings. Thanks to one suggestion, the mill’s water supply was modified, saving five gigawatt hours of energy per year - the amount of energy used every day by half the homes in Auckland. Staff input has been so effective, the mill now has a group to coordinate energy initiatives.

Novotel Ellerslie’s low cost savings: The hotel’s energy efficiency drive proved that savings don’t have to come at a high cost. All the investments - such as motion sensors for lighting and flow restrictors on hot water taps - paid for themselves in less than a year. The changes actually improved guests’ perceptions by boosting environmental performance with no reduction in comfort. The Novotel Group has undertaken energy-efficiency initiatives in all its hotels.

Winstone Aggregates fleet fuel savings: The company trains staff about efficient driving, covers trailers to reduce drag, ensures trucks are well maintained and chooses modern fuel-efficient vehicles. Thanks to these measures, Winstone Aggregates is saving around $335,000 every year in fuel costs. All the fuel-saving measures are relatively simple and could be easily implemented by other companies.

EECA Chief Executive Mike Underhill said: “Most businesses could significantly cut their overheads with better energy management. Altogether, New Zealand business spends about $13.5 billion on energy every year, and we estimate more than $2 billion of this goes on wasted energy. The companies profiled are great examples of what can be achieved with some leadership and focus - and what they’ve done isn’t rocket science but can be easily picked up by others. In the case of tourism, energy efficiency has the potential to benefit the whole industry by improving New Zealand’s environmental credentials for overseas consumers. We hope these stories will inspire other companies to start saving energy - savings which go straight to the bottom line to make stronger, more competitive businesses.”

Although the companies featured in The Energy Spot are comparatively large, Underhill stressed that companies of all sizes could benefit from energy efficiency.

EECA provides practical advice and tips for businesses of all sizes, across all sectors.

The Energy Spot screens in New Zealand at 6.50 pm on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays on TV1, TV2, TV3 and Maori TV. The schedule for the business energy-efficiency episodes are:

Week beginning 7 February - Carter Holt Harvey’s staff involvement

Week beginning 14 February - Novotel Ellerslie’s low-cost energy savings

Week beginning 21 February - Winstone Aggregates’ fleet fuel savings 

More information is available at www.eecabusiness.govt.nz.

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