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Energy savvy Corrections to cut bill by $1 million


Energy savvy Corrections to cut bill by $1 million

The Department of Corrections' commitment to energy management became official today, with the ceremonial cutting of an energy bill at the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA).

The Department's energy management programme has a target of reducing energy consumption, which will lead to more than $1 million in energy savings in the next five years. The savings will be achieved through the Department's energy strategy and a series of action plans.

Heather Staley, Chief Executive of EECA, says she was delighted to have Corrections on board. "As the third biggest energy consumer among government departments, Corrections is showing leadership to the rest of the state sector.

"Energy efficiency does not mean cutting back on services - it means getting more out of each unit of energy. This is smart business practice in either the public or the private sector," Ms Staley said.

Richard Morris, Corrections' Chief Financial Officer, says with an energy bill of more than $4.2 million a year for electricity, gas, coal, fuel and oil, implementing an energy management programme, with the help of EECA, was the next step for the Department.

"We want to achieve best practice in our energy use and ensure we're not using more energy than we need to. We're also doing our bit to achieve the Government's vision of a sustainable energy future," Mr Morris says.

Explaining how the Department will achieve energy savings Mr Morris says getting good information on the energy consumption of individual facilities is a key starting point.

"Check meters and monitoring technology have been installed at our facilities to give us better control over energy use. We audited these facilities and found there are many areas where we can use energy in a smarter way, and staff will be trained in tools and techniques to achieve this."

Mr Morris highlights Christchurch Prison as an example of energy efficiency in action. "The prison has reduced its energy costs by half, from about $800 per inmate per year to $400. This is thanks to implementing energy savings measures identified by an energy audit, improved monitoring and reporting of energy use, and the presence of an on-site energy manager."

In making a commitment with EECA, the Department is contributing to achieving the state sector's target of a 15% improvement in energy efficiency by 2006. In return, EECA will provide information, financial assistance and other support to the Department to reach this goal.

Corrections joins 50 state sector organisations that have made a commitment to improve energy efficiency.

For information on EECA's programmes visit http://www.eeca.govt.nz.

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