Helping to improve energy productivity

Helping to improve energy productivity
Businesses are responsible for around two thirds of New Zealand’s energy use and associated emissions.

Most businesses know they could save energy costs in their business, but how do they know which options offer the best value? Investing in energy expertise can give a competitive edge.
As a party to the Paris Agreement on climate change , New Zealand is committed to reducing its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.
Countries around the world have recognised energy productivity as a critical factor in business competitiveness and innovation, however, New Zealand’s energy productivity is lagging behind countries like the US, UK and Australia.
New Zealand’s Energy Efficiency strategy 20172022, sets out to enhance this energy productivity to help businesses reduce costs, manage risk and optimise systems.
This is where the Energy Efficiency Conservation Authority (EECA) plays a critical role in supporting New Zealand businesses to make efficient and renewable energy investments and adopt best practice energy management, through its work programmes and programme partners, all of which are listed on its website.
Businesses are responsible for around two thirds of New Zealand’s energy use and associated emissions.
EECA say many businesses could shave up to 20% off energy costs with potential energy savings adding up to $900 million a year across all New Zealand businesses by 2030, if all economic options are adopted.
Previously, sustainability was only a luxury investment or used as a public relations device. Today, the evident financial impact for businesses has the potential to be the driving force for a real change to manage natural resources .
In the past, the lack of inclusion of energy efficiency into business practices was primarily due to imperfect information and the assumption that the process of change was risky and expensive.
Choices are complex, and factoring in energy performance over the life of the investment presents a hurdle for many customers, however, small steps towards energy efficiency with help from energy experts are relatively inexpensive and allows businesses to capitalise on their energy reductions, almost immediately.
Moreover, through investments in energy efficiency, businesses can improve their competitiveness, gain brand advantages and lower operating and maintenance costs.
Refining NZ entered into a partnership with EECA in 2016, setting a goal to adopt best practice over a three-year period.
Its energy management journey includes monitoring energy consumption, improving turbine efficiency and a phased out swap of fl uorescents for LEDs across the Marsden Point site.
New Zealand’s progress towards achieving longer-term goals, such as its target to reduce GHG by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030, depends on the choices made every day by energy users, large and small.
To help businesses succeed in reducing their energy use and carbon emissions, EECA may help with energy audits, which evaluate how energy is being used and identifi es the energy and cost saving opportunities for a business.
Then, by developing an energy management plan, a business can realise opportunities to improve its competitiveness.

Helping to improve energy productivity
Refining NZ entered into a partnership with EECA in 2016, setting a goal to adopt best practice over a three-year period.

EECA has multiple programme partners which offer the services needed for businesses to access these energy productivity benefits.
Smart technology Global concern around energy use and climate change has led to a strategic shift to smart technology utilising data to minimize energy usage in businesses.
Energy monitoring and targeting systems tell you in real-time how a business is using energy and allows for fast and targeted operational optimisation.
Energy monitoring’s dynamic behaviour is capable of detecting unfavourable operations at an early stage and allows the facility manager of a business to intervene in due time before damage or high energy consumption occurs.
Service providers ESP have helped ASB unlock the value of its data to provide insights that deliver profitable asset utilisation. ASB had the potential to save 19% of its electricity consumption.
Monitoring equipment was installed in all ASB branches across New Zealand to provide quick, accurate real-time consumption data for performance analysis.
This immediately enabled ASB to identify and reduce after-hours loads followed by reduced daytime loads.  ASB’s annual electricity consumption is now achieving a 36% reduction and is on target to exceed 10,800MWh energy savings per year.
ASB has achieved savings that are 17% over its target of 19%. Combined, ESP’s 70-plus major clients have slashed their energy use by 132GWh, saving over $23 million.
In industrial sites, emissions from processing may far outweigh office emissions, as over 25 per cent of the energy used in NZ is for industrial heat processes – 72% of it comes from non-renewable energy sources.
ccording to EECA many businesses have optimised on their energy management by incorporating data monitoring into their industrial processes.
This could be further maximised when combined with long-term investments that move away from energy intensive operations to energy efficient alternatives.
Adoption of Technology Energy management techniques combined with sharp new technology is the ultimate recipe for a business to improve its “double bottom line”.
Businesses looking to invest in an innovative under-utilised energy-saving technology or a process improvement that could also benefit an industry can access funding via EECA to demonstrate its potential.
The funding helps de-risk investment in under-used tech applications where there are big emission reductions on offer.
The first two technology demonstration funding recipients to receive maximum support were Synlait and Fonterra (see adjacent story).
Synlait has demonstrated admirable leadership, substituting traditional energy sources such as coal, gas and diesel and implementing a 6MW electrode boiler, the first of its kind in Australasia, in its Dunsandel liquid cream and milk facility.
In June, Synlait’s then chief executive and managing director, John Penno, publicly announced its commitment to never building another coal boiler.
This pioneering investment is the potential first step for a larger scale roll-out and a much needed demise of New Zealand’s reliance on fossil fuels within the sector.
• For assistance with energy management, a list of programme partners is availakle on EECA’s website
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