Smart Energy Solutions Small to Medium Energy User Award

The Smart Energy Solutions Small to Medium Energy User Award recognises a business that has completed a successful energy efficiency or renewable energy initiative as part of a wider energy management strategy.


Winner – Ceres Organics

New green home sheds 40% of energy use for its new green tenants.

Photo of staff at Ceres Organics.
Ceres Organic

Electricity costs are down by $40,000 annually at Ceres Organics’ new warehouse and offices. Staff motivation, technology upgrades and thoughtful green design have created an energy efficient residence for this environmentally-minded business.

In 2012, when Ceres needed a new, larger home, they found an ideal spot; a brownfield site just a stone’s throw from their current location in Mount Wellington, which had the potential to meet all the sustainability criteria that Ceres felt was non-negotiable.

Ceres convinced property owners Norak Property Ltd to demolish the existing derelict structure and start again. The journey, which resulted in a 5 Green Star Industrial Built rated premises, demonstrated to Norak the market advantage of sustainable buildings.

Concrete helps keep the new building cool in summer and warm in winter and is orientated to make the most of passive solar heating and natural light. Materials from the old building were harvested and repurposed; 95% of construction waste was diverted from landfill and Ceres’ new boardroom has a beautiful floor made of recycled rimu.

LED technology and occupancy sensors light spaces efficiently and appropriately, and a fully-automated Building Management System monitors the lighting along with CO2 emission levels, water and energy use.

A solar heating system supplies hot rainwater to energy efficient showers, which were installed to encourage more staff to get on their bikes. Transport as a whole came under scrutiny in the move and as the site is closer to public transport, the company battled regulations to provide 38% less parking space.

Video conferencing is up, air travel is down and fleet guidelines improve fuel efficiency. Overall, Ceres’ is saving more than 266,000 kilowatt-hours of energy each year since taking on their new home, which makes this an organisation that walks and talks sustainability; just ask the pet worms.

Judges said:

Energy use is reducing whilst business continues to improve – great to see the business case for energy efficiency as well as pushing the boundaries for the environmental case. Excellent holistic thinking has created a comprehensive energy efficient and all-round sustainable workplace.

Highly Commended – Argosy Property and Te Puni Kōkiri

Landlord and tenant partnership produces five stars in energy efficiency.

Photo of Te Puni Kokiri House.
Te Puni Kōkiri House

Publicly-funded organisations have a lot to gain from being energy efficient. Te Puni Kōkiri is making its budget stretch even further as a result of energy-smart renovations to its historic headquarters, owned by Argosy Property Ltd. Around $80,000 that used to have to be spent on energy bills can now be invested in more meaningful core business.

Te Puni Kōkiri House is a 1940s building in Wellington’s Stout Street Historic Precinct. All 11 floors are tenanted by the Ministry of Māori Affairs and, in spite of the building’s age and ornamental appearance, the recent retrofit means that staff and visitors now experience all the modern advantages of a well-run, energy efficient workplace with increased daylight and fresh-air flow.

The building’s overall energy efficiency has improved by 33% since work completed in 2014, with energy use levels dropping from 205 kilowatt-hours per square metre per year to 138 kilowatt-hours per square metre per year. The environmental gains have been achieved in spite of the challenges presented by an older building. Where solid concrete walls or the historic value of the façade have overruled traditional energy-saving options, such as insulation or over-cladding, other more innovative technologies filled the gaps.

Electro-commutated fan coil technology provided enhanced controllability in the HVAC (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning) systems, occupancy sensors reduced unnecessary system use and a refreshed lighting design saw the installation of well-located, low-energy LED technology. Energy efficient fittings have also reduced water use by 29%, and with 90% of construction waste being recycled, the overall refit has achieved a 5 Green Star Built rating for Te Puni Kōkiri House – a first for Wellington.

Judges said:

This is a great story in energy efficiency and demonstrates good energy and non-energy benefits. Interesting to see the incorporation of innovative technology to overcome old-fashioned problems.

Commended – Bidvest New Zealand

A LED lighting refit achieves a 71% reduction in energy use and cuts costs by $140,000.

Photo of lighting at Bidvest.
Bidvest New Zealand

An energy efficiency plan is a smart business plan for distributer Bidvest. Understanding the big difference that relatively small changes in energy efficient technology and behaviour can make, they commissioned Phillips to re-design the lighting for their cold stores in order to capture some energy and cost savings. The results in electricity reductions exceeded everyone’s expectations.

The lighting refit, which replaced fluorescent and high intensity discharge (HID) lamp fittings with low-energy LED technology, saved around 54 kilowatt-hours more than anticipated, which brings the grand total up to 969,546 kilowatt-hours of energy saved per year.

The work, which was undertaken in association with engineering company Peter Swan Limited, has increased operational efficiencies and improved health and safety to the chilled areas in nine Bidvest cold store sites across New Zealand. Energy used on lighting has been reduced by 71% which reduces annual greenhouse gas emissions by around 174 tonnes and saves $140,000 on energy bills for Bidvest each year.

With total project costs of $518,730, Bidvest will recoup the investment in just over three years and with a project lifespan of 10 years, the decision proves to be a sound one for the business and the environment.

Judges said:

A practical attitude to energy efficiency is paying off for the business. Good to see low-energy LED lighting becoming mainstream for New Zealand industry. A great project with a simple approach that is easily replicable.


Smart Energy Solutions is NZ's one-stop-shop for home energy efficiency. We have a full product and installation service NZ-wide and are the largest approved installer in EECA's Warm Up NZ insulation programme having insulated over 30,000 New Zealand homes. We're proudly NZ owned and operated.

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