Council make savings as emissions cut
2 August 2019
Porirua City Council has cut greenhouse gas emissions from its properties by more than a third since 2012, saving more than $3 million in the process.
A concerted effort from Council’s Property team has cut the greenhouse gas emissions footprint through an effective carbon/energy management programme, and more efficient lighting across the city.
“There was a series of projects to cut energy consumption, costs and carbon emissions everywhere possible,” says Mike Evans, General Manager Infrastructure.
“We’re delighted to see these numbers as it has been a consistent effort from our Property team, who continue to make savings for Council.”
Results show that from 2005 through 2012, annual emissions grew from about 2000 tonnes per year to over 2600 tonnes. However, since 2013, this has dropped back to just over 2000 tonnes, even though population and the demand for services grew over this time.
The reduction has been especially marked since 2015.
The Property team has used international standards for energy management, and has worked with energy advisor Robert Bishop of Energy Solutions Ltd, to achieve savings of $3.35m since 2013. In that time, these updated energy efficiencies cost just $100,000 annually.
Main energy sites for the Council include Arena Aquatics (38 per cent of the total Council greenhouse gas emissions), the Wastewater Treatment Plant (13 per cent), Pātaka/the main library (7 per cent) and street lighting (12 per cent).
The aquatic centre and Pātaka were chosen for detailed energy audits, leading to more efficient heating, ventilation, air conditioning and lighting efficiency projects, Mr Evans says.
“The programme has resulted in better temperature and humidity conditions in Council facilities, especially at Pātaka,” he says.
Similar cost-effective projects are planned in other facilities.
All Porirua street lamps were fitted with state-of-the-art LED lights in 2018 – they draw 50 per cent less power, last longer and require less maintenance.
Council’s climate change strategy, Te Ao Hurihuri, is being currently developed, and a climate change emergency was declared by the mayor and councillors on 26 June – these, along with what has already been achieved in our facilities shows our commitment to this pressing issue, Mr Evans says.
“We believe that getting to zero carbon emissions is entirely possible and should be cost-effective if done correctly. Our results in the last seven years shows we’re on the right track.”