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EnergyWise Award winners announced

EnergyWise Award winners announced

The winners of the 2002 EnergyWise Awards were announced in front of a crowd of 400 in Auckland tonight.

Heather Staley, Chief Executive of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA), said the EnergyWise Award winners are leaders in sustainable business practice, and are an example to other organisations that energy efficiency leads to reduced costs.

"This year's winners are an impressive line-up of innovative organisations and individuals who are putting energy efficiency into action - and reaping the rewards. I hope that this year's examples of sustainable business practice will inspire other organisations to look at energy efficiency as a cost savings opportunity. Energy efficiency makes good business sense.

"Sustainable businesses are helping the country manage forthcoming shortfalls in energy generation, and a reduction in energy use is better for the environment. The projects implemented by this year's EnergyWise award finalists have saved 750,000 tonnes of CO2 from being emitted into the environment.

The 2002 Supreme Award winner was Christchurch City Council, who was also awarded the Sustained Achievement Award.

"Christchurch City Council's $12.2 million cumulative energy savings since 1995 show what can be achieved by an organisation-wide commitment to energy efficiency. These huge savings were achieved with an investment of just $4.2 million over that period. The Council's energy management efforts are reflected across the entire organisation whether it is swimming pools, art galleries, libraries, water treatment plants, street lighting or rental housing.

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"Winner of the BP Renewable Energy Award, Easteel Industries Ltd, and the winner of the Contact Energy Innovation Award, Beca Carter Hollings and Ferner Ltd, are examples of kiwi ingenuity with sustainability in mind. Both organisations have come up with innovative solutions to meet the needs of their clients that not only save money, due to reduced energy consumption, but are better for the environment.

"Large industrial companies are also benefiting from energy efficiency. Winner of the Industry NZ Industrial/Manufacturing Award Degussa Peroxide Ltd made two refinements to its processing techniques, which have achieved energy savings of 9.1 percent per ton of peroxide. "The transport sector is New Zealand's largest consumer of energy, so innovations which break down the barriers to public transport usage will make a big difference to our energy use. Christchurch company Connexionz Ltd won the Booz Allen Hamilton Transport Award for their real-time electronic displays, using GPS navigational equipment, to let travellers know how far away the next bus is.

"Nelson's Arrow Motel has made a commitment to sustainability in every facet of their business. The winners of the Genesis Energy Commercial/Services Award have set themselves apart from the pack in the competitive world of tourist accommodation. Energy efficiency principles were applied throughout the complex's construction resulting 70 percent less energy consumption than comparably sized motels. The extra $20,000 invested in construction has resulted in energy savings of around $39,000 a year.

"Hamilton City Council is another public sector organisation leading by example. The winners of the Local Government New Zealand Public Sector Award have a comprehensive energy management programme in place. With savings averaging $320,000 per year, the three-year investment of $410,000 has been repaid several times over - representing outstanding value for ratepayers.

"An electricity lines company may seem an unlikely organisation to promote reducing energy use to their customers, but that is exactly what Christchurch based Orion New Zealand Ltd have done. Winners of the Transpower Energy Supplier Award managed to reduce their peak load by 160 MW in 2000-2001, and slow the increase in customer demand from 2.5 percent to less than 1 percent pa. Orion also helped insulate about 5,000 Christchurch homes - reducing electricity demand for heating.

"Many of the projects put forward for this year's awards wouldn't have been possible without dedicated energy managers. The joint winners of the Energy Management Association Outstanding Energy Manager Award, Leonid Itskovitch from Christchurch City Council and Andrew Paterson from Capital and Coast Health, show what smart energy management can achieve.

"It's not just business reaping the rewards from energy efficiency. The winner of the Pink Batts Residential Award, Invercargill's Waihopai Runaka, are a Maori organisation dedicated to improving the welfare of people in the deep south. Using EECA funding, Waihopai Runaka upgraded 168 homes from Invercargill to Bluff with insulation and other energy efficiency measures. The average household will save $560 per year on their power bill.

"Energy efficiency is the way of the future. With so many examples of success in achieving energy savings, the practice of organisations blindly paying their energy bill every month should become a thing of the past," Ms Staley said.

About the EnergyWise Awards

The EnergyWise Awards have been running since 1996 - the 2002 awards are the sixth event. 112 entries were judged for this year's event.

The entries are judged on the benefits of the project (CO2 reductions, energy efficiency and use of renewable energy), cost effectiveness, innovation, and sustainability (the continuation of the project and the ability for it to be replicated by other businesses).

2002 EnergyWise Awards - Background notes on winners

EECA SUPREME AWARD - CHRISTCHURCH CITY COUNCIL Christchurch City Council's attention to energy efficiency and conservation stems from pragmatism - the impetus came from the million-dollar energy savings made during the electricity crisis of winter 1992 - and the sustained efforts of key staff.

Corporate services manager Merv Altments has been a mentor to three dedicated energy managers since the position was created in 1993, with the present office-holder, Leonid Itskovich, responsible for a wave of energy management initiatives based on council policies which ensure energy awareness is part of each new capital project.

In 1997, Mr Itskovich set up a special energy efficiency projects budget of $300,000 a year, which could be used as leverage for obtaining Crown Energy Efficiency Loans from EECA and meant energy efficiency didn't get dropped off projects as an expendable item when costs were being squeezed. The same year, the council became a founding member of EECA's EnergyWise Councils partnership.

In 2000 the council opened the Christchurch Energy Efficiency Show Home, open six days a week, to promote residential energy efficiency measures and to provide a free energy advisory service. Home energy efficiency improvements have been made an integral part of city-wide clean air programmes.

To increase the proportion of its energy from sustainable supplies, the council has signed a 10-year contract to purchase energy from the proposed Windflow Technology wind turbine to be erected on Banks Peninsula.

The council's energy management efforts - which infiltrate every area of its activities, from swimming pools, art galleries, libraries, water treatment plants, street lighting and rental housing to its own offices - have achieved steady increments in energy savings each year, in spite of city growth and large new facilities coming into operation. A coal-fired boiler at QEII swimming complex has been replaced with a heat pump and LPG-fired boilers. A new engine generator was installed at the wastewater treatment plant in 1996 to consume all the biogas produced there. It generates more than 16% of the council's total electricity requirements.

>From 1995 to 2002 the council has invested $4.2 million, including $986,000 from EECA's Crown Energy Efficiency Loans, in energy management, with cumulative energy cost savings of $12.2 million for the period. The council's energy efficiency improvements equate to a 26% reduction in energy consumption by the council's operations over the seven-year period to 2001, and a 21% reduction in CO2 emissions.

ENERGY MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION OUTSTANDING ENERGY MANAGER AWARD - LEONID ITSKOVICH, CHRISTCHURCH CITY COUNCIL AND ANDREW PATERSON, CAPITAL AND COAST HEALTH Leonid Itskovich has been responsible for energy management at Christchurch City Council since 1995. Mr Itskovich has been responsible for a series of successful, well-documented and accurately monitored energy efficiency projects.

Mr Itskovitch is constantly looking for new technologies and energy efficiency ideas that can be applied at the council, even buying a demonstration fuel cell while on holiday overseas, to show its potential. He is the prime mover behind the council's support for the Windflow Technology wind turbine to be erected on Banks Peninsula.

The council's investment of $4.2 million in energy efficiency since 1995 is achieving energy cost savings of almost $2.3 million a year. This is equivalent to reducing the council-related energy cost per ratepayer's household from $63 in 1995 to $56 in 2002. Most measures undertaken have simple paybacks ranging from a few months to up to five years.

Mr Itskovich has made sure all new council works projects have energy efficiency criteria built in and has provided consultancy advice to rural district councils Hurunui, Waimakariri, Mackenzie and Banks Peninsula, which are too small to support a full-time energy manager.

Andrew Paterson, Capital and Coast Health Wellington-based Capital and Coast Health technical services manager Andrew Paterson is responsible for energy management in a major public hospital with 105 buildings including four large multistorey buildings with multiple occupancies, an industrial laundry, two heated swimming pools, 50 boilers up to 5 MW, a 10 MW power station, more than 60 air handling units, and a building management system with more than 2000 control points.

He sees the process as an "energy saving mission" which is ongoing and conducted by a team. Energy consumption has been held flat year after year, in spite of expanding hospital floor area, increased energy intensity of new equipment and processes, and a decreasing proportion of naturally ventilated buildings.

A key to his team's energy management success is investing in systems to find problems more quickly so energy losses are not allowed to persist. This includes meter readings, an energy database and the building management system. Each month, 250 check meters are read and entered into a database, allowing for comparisons against budget and historical consumption. The energy manager reports an energy summary to the director of operations each month.

The complexity and uncertainty of his job (much of which is affected by forces beyond his control) and Paterson's performance and achievement make him an outstanding energy manager.

CONTACT ENERGY INNOVATION AWARD - BECA CARTER HOLLINGS AND FERNER LTD FOR THE HORNBY MALL, CHRISTCHURCH Using an innovative air conditioning system, Beca Carter Hollings & Ferner Ltd slashed initial capital spending by $60,000, with ongoing energy savings of $6,000 a year - while providing a better environment for shoppers and workers at the redeveloped 10,600 m2 Hornby Mall in Christchurch.

The system uses 40-50% less energy than conventional air conditioning systems. The system provides a higher level of air quality for a greater portion of the year than a traditional mechanical ventilation system.

Displacement ventilation provides large volumes of air flowing slowly in at "people level" at around 20°C, to form a pool of cool air. As this cool air warms by collecting heat from people and other sources it rises. The warm air is exhausted out at a high level, creating an airflow which draws in more cool air down below to displace it.

BOOZ ALLEN HAMILTON TRANSPORT AWARD - CONNEXIONZ LTD, CHRISTCHURCH Christchurch company Connexionz's real-time electronic displays let travellers know how far away the bus is, using the infrastructure for mobile radios for low-cost communications.

Its GPS navigational equipment has been installed on a fleet of Christchurch buses. The buses are electronically tracked as they make their way around the city. The information is relayed to passengers through electronic signboards at the airport-like central bus exchange. The energy savings come from reduced bus idling time, as well as from contributing to increased use of buses which displaces less energy-efficient car trips.

The company has recently completed a system for Auckland Airbus, which ferries people to and from the airport, and it has won a contract to provide real time information for a new busway in Sydney. It is tendering for eight UK projects for real-time bus schemes, and is discussing four more New Zealand and five Australian projects.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT NZ PUBLIC SECTOR AWARD - HAMILTON CITY COUNCIL Hamilton City Council's comprehensive energy management programme was spurred by the appointment of Martin Lynch as energy manager in 1999.

For a three-year spend of $412,000 and the energy manager's salary, the council has saved an average of around $318,000 a year. The council estimates it has saved $228,384 in 2001/02 through a range of measures, including lighting and air conditioning upgrades, spa pool covers and replacing diesel with gas for hot water boilers in a plant nursery. It has installed EnergyPro energy monitoring and reporting software.

The council pioneered a partnering arrangement for its wastewater cogeneration plant, with one of the external partners providing the finance. Biogas from the wastewater is blended with natural gas, in a first for New Zealand.

The council's policy for new projects is that energy efficiency must be designed-in from the outset. Any extra cost for energy efficiency features must be paid back within five years.

BP RENEWABLE ENERGY AWARD - EASTEEL INDUSTRIES LTD, HASTINGS Easteel Industries Ltd designed, manufactured, installed and commissioned an energy plant designed to burn biomass - either green sawdust or green sawdust mixed with dry shavings.

The Heatpac plant at the Winstone Pulp International sawmill, Tangiwai, is a clean-burning system with the only visible discharge a steam plume from the drying loop. Using green sawdust and shavings also eliminates a woodwaste disposal problem and the greenhouse gas emissions from landfill. Pre-drying the green sawdust improves the overall plant efficiency by using flue gases, which would normally have been discharged into the air.

With a $1.5 million capital cost, the project's simple payback period is 0.6 years, and the fuel is free. A comparable coal fired boiler would have cost $1.2 million, with ongoing fuel costs of $531,000 a year. The 32,000 tonnes of biomass fuel used in a year displace 7,320 tonnes of coal.

The technology has many opportunities for further application, particularly in the markets of New Zealand, Australia and Chile, where Easteel sells its products. Easteel is commended for spending time and money on research and development and overcoming financial obstacles to improve the system.

TRANSPOWER ENERGY SUPPLIER AWARD - ORION NEW ZEALAND LTD, CHRISTCHURCH Orion has managed to keep the electricity load of their network down through customer energy efficiency programmes. It is especially important to lop off the peak in electricity demand - generally at breakfast and dinner time - because that maximum is what the network must cater for. Orion has reduced its peak load by 160 MW in 2000-2001 (for comparison, the Stratford combined cycle gas power station in Taranaki has a capacity of 400 MW).

Orion has slowed its customers' annual growth in electricity load from 2.5 percent to just under 1 percent. This means it has been able to put off a spend of $180 million on increasing the carrying capacity of the network.

Taking advantage of EECA's residential energy efficiency grants to boost the reach of dollars spent, Orion has improved insulation in at least 5000 Christchurch homes. Orion also runs school programmes to educate young energy users.

It supports innovative initiatives to increase the supply of electricity, such as through its 37 percent shareholding in Whisper Tech's WhisperGen Stirling home sized heat-and-power engine; and energy efficiency technologies, through its 100 percent ownership of TransFlux heating technology.

Orion has encouraged customers to conserve energy by removing fixed charges for residential customers and small and medium sized businesses. Each kilowatt-hour saved can make a real difference to the consumer's bill.

PINK BATTS RESIDENTIAL AWARD - TE WHARE MAHANA - WAIHOPAI RUNAKA, INVERCARGILL Low-income households in New Zealand's deep south have gained warmer, drier, healthier homes because of this home energy efficiency project. In an EECA-funded residential project, "Te Whare Mahana", Southland Maori group Waihopai Runaka installed energy efficiency measures in 168 houses from Invercargill to Bluff at an average cost of $1630 per house, which will save each household around $560 a year.

Waihopai Runaka is a Maori organisation dedicated to improving the welfare of people in the deep south. Te Whare Mahana is its second EECA project. The measures included ceiling and underfloor insulation, hot water cylinder wraps and pipe lagging, draught proofing and polythene groundsheets.

All the recipients were community services cardholders and a quarter had high-user cards, which indicated poor health. Previously unemployed people, specially training for the work, did the installations.

GENESIS ENERGY COMMERCIAL/SERVICES AWARD - ARROW MOTEL, NELSON John and Sally Gilbertson's four star Qualmark-rated Arrow Motel complex at Tahunanui, Nelson, has been built with environmental principles in mind.

The beachside complex includes 13 luxury apartments, a family unit, swimming pool and playground. Constructed in 1997, it has Firth Ribraft concrete floors and Superform poly-block/Rockcoat walls for thermal mass; and Pilkington double glazing to minimise heat loss and reduce noise. The ceilings have wool blanket insulation. The energy-efficient Quantum solar-electric heat pump for water heating operates well all year round. Vehicles have been upgraded to fuel injected models, and use of the shuttle bus, and car or taxi pooling is encouraged.

The Gilbertsons report 70% less energy consumption than comparably sized motels, saving around $39,000 a year. The Gilbertsons estimate they spent an extra $20,000 on energy efficiency aspects of the complex over and above the standard construction cost, giving them a payback of six months. As owner-operators, they are benefiting from investing upfront in sound energy practices to reap the rewards of lower operating costs.

INDUSTRY NEW ZEALAND INDUSTRY/MANUFACTURING AWARD - DEGUSSA PEROXIDE LTD, MORRINSVILLE Degussa Peroxide makes hydrogen peroxide, a chemical used for bleaching pulp, paper and textiles, wastewater treatment, exhaust air treatment, wool scouring, disinfection and other oxidation reactions.

Degussa Peroxide Ltd achieved energy savings through two smart refinements to its process technique. Savings of steam, water and wastewater are worth $96,633 a year for both projects, equivalent to CO2 emissions reduction of 1068 tonnes a year.

The boiler feedwater project eliminated dumping of treated water, with its associated environmental impacts. Improving the efficiency of the extraction process allowed for a higher yield without expending further energy.

The projects achieved an overall energy saving of 9.1% per ton of peroxide. The energy cost payback for the extractor project was eight years, but the other benefits, such as safety, made it worthwhile. The boiler feedwater project had a payback of less than a year.

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