Whanganui Pak'nSave wins national award for energy saving
Whanganui Pak'nSave has been honoured in the 2012 EECA Awards for a project that cut energy use by 40%, setting the standard for the supermarket sector.
The store, with energy consultants EcoSystems, was last night (subs: Wed 23 May) named winner of the Small to Medium Business Award in the 2012 EECA Awards for a ‘courageous' project that tackled energy use across the store.
The energy savings are so impressive that parent group Foodstuffs is using the project to inform its national energy management plan, and EcoSystems is set to work on a further 30 - 60 store upgrades.
The supermarket makeover was kickstarted early last year when owner / operator Gareth Jones' five year old son asked him what he was doing to help the environment. That prompted a call to Wellington-based EcoSystems, which scoured the store for energy-saving opportunities.
The project included installing skylights to bring in natural light, automatic lighting sensors and controls, using outside air for ‘free cooling' during summer rather than air conditioning, and putting double glazed doors on fridges and freezers. Introducing fridge doors was a brave move: although it proved a big energy saver, it challenged customers' expectations of instant, easy access.
Sub-metering keeps ongoing tabs on where energy is being used in the store, to make sure the savings continue.
EECA Chief Executive Mike Underhill said there was huge potential for energy saving in commercial buildings such as supermarkets and foodstores.
"Driving down energy use and costs is good for business owners, customers and ultimately the whole community," he said. "It delivers to the bottom line, brings a competitive edge and takes pressure off our national supply. This was a courageous undertaking on the part of the store owner, and looks like it could be the touchstone that helps transform a whole industry. It's a small business punching above its weight - it's a very worthy award winner."
The Small to Medium Business Award was sponsored by Knauf Insulation.
Also Commended in the Small to Medium Business category was Rotorua's Alpin Motel, which is using renewable geothermal energy, and biotech site Life Technologies in Christchurch, which has cut its use of diesel by more than half.
The Supreme Award was won by Air New Zealand, which has achieved more than $540m in energy savings and cut CO2 emissions by 142,000 tonnes per year.
Across all 2012 EECA Awards entrants, the value of energy saved or generated over the life of the projects is $600 million, and the total CO2 emissions reduced or avoided is 1.7 million tonnes.
The EECA Awards are presented in association with Principal Sponsors EcoInsulation, Fujitsu General New Zealand and Vector.
For more on the EECA Award winners see www.eecabusiness.govt.nz/awards
2012 EECA Award winners - full list
- Supreme Winner: Air New Zealand
- Transport: Air New Zealand
- Large Business: ASB
- Small to Medium Business: Ecosystems and Whanganui PAK‘nSAVE
- Energy Management: New Zealand Post Group
- Innovation: Aurecon NZ and Dominion Salt
- Renewable Energy: Golden Bay Cement
- Public Sector: New Zealand Post Group / New Plymouth District Council
- Community: Greater Wellington Regional Council
- Outstanding Contribution: Jeanette Fitzsimons
Senior Communications Adviser Miranda James on 021 444 178.