Fujitsu General NZ Community Award

The Fujitsu General NZ Community Award recognises a project or initiative that supports people to make positive energy choices, and/or helps people benefit from improved energy efficiency or renewable energy at home, at work, or on the road.

Finalists

Winner – Project Litefoot Trust

When grassroots clubs tackle energy efficiency, the result is a greenhouse gas emission reduction of nearly 4,000 tonnes and $3.9 million freed-up for sport.

Photo of people involved with the Project Litefoot Trust.
Project Litefoot Trust

Ambition, determination and competitiveness – all behaviours associated with sporting success – are behind the achievements of local clubs who have dramatically reduced their impact on the environment.

The inspiration to be more efficient with energy, water and waste comes from LiteClub, a celebrity-endorsed initiative set up by Project Litefoot Trust in 2011. The initiative shows how sport and the environment are deeply interlinked and helps community sport play its part in reducing environmental impact.

The LiteClub van visits local clubs and installs LED light bulbs, pipe lagging and insulation to hot-water cylinders, along with water-saving devices and recycling stations. They have already visited 710 clubs and 20 new clubs are being seen each month, with a backlog seeking LiteClub’s free service. The result is a dramatic decrease in energy costs, which is reinvested in sport. For every dollar invested in Project Litefoot Trust, they save $2.53 for sport and so far that saving adds up to $3.9 million.

The payback from stripping out unnecessary energy costs is the opportunity to invest savings in coaching, facilities and equipment. LiteClub estimates that the sector could be saving up to $25 million a year in energy, water and waste efficiency.

Brendon McCullum, Conrad Smith, Michael Campbell and the Evers-Swindell twins are championing LiteClub, which has gained immense national traction and international praise and interest in replication. LiteClub is on track to achieve its ultimate goal: to transform community sport’s infrastructure and culture so that collectively they are energy independent, water neutral and zero waste by 2025.

Judges said:

An accessible and all-round excellent project that takes young people on an important journey. The ambitious thinking and practical actions towards energy efficiency demonstrate what local groups can do when they work together to make a big change.

Highly Commended – Community Energy Action Charitable Trust

Repairing hundreds of earthquake-affected homes to energy efficient standards is keeping vulnerable Cantabrians warm and well.

Photo of staff from Community Energy Action Charitable Trust.
Community Energy Action Charitable Trust

In the wake of the Canterbury earthquakes, which left people struggling to cope with repairs and heating costs, Community Energy Action Charitable Trust (CEA) has worked across the region, specifically with the elderly and low-income families, to make their homes healthy and safe using energy efficiency measures.

After winning the Café Christchurch Energy Champion EECA Award in 2014, CEA teamed up with New Zealand Red Cross to start the Repair Well programme. Together they have provided insulation, low-energy, low-cost heating and ventilation to more than 200 earthquake-affected homes. The results of the Repair Well programme are a snapshot of the energy efficiency achievements of CEA and their partnerships. Altogether they have insulated more than 2,800 homes across Christchurch and Canterbury and it is estimated that residents are saving upward of $495,000 per annum as a direct result.

A long-standing organisation with high staff retention rates means that people providing the support at CEA are experienced and well-trained. The specific needs of customers are recognised and responded to and no discrimination is made between homeowners and renters: the goal is to keep people warm and healthy by providing safe, energy efficient housing.

Repair Well is now on track to support  100 more homes than first anticipated in this single programme of work. 

Judges said:

Running a community trust is hard work and these guys do a great job. Their energy efficiency work makes a significant contribution to the community across the board – in a city with tremendous challenges.

Highly Commended – Victoria Energy

Instilling positive attitudes towards energy efficiency in the iGeneration.

Photo of people involved with Victoria Energy.
Victoria Energy
Pitching two student halls of residence against each other in an energy-saving competition has shown a demonstrable reduction in electricity use at Victoria University of Wellington.

When a prior resident noticed wasteful behaviour towards energy by her peers, she challenged two Houses to see who could use the least energy during a term in a bid to lower their carbon footprint and the University’s fuel costs – something that could prove useful practice for the participants in future years when they come to paying their own energy bills.

Weir House and Te Puni House spent a term battling to be the most energy efficient hall of residence, which resulted in behaviour changes such as communal studying to save lighting and heating, and waiting for everyone to want noodles or tea before boiling a jug of water. Social media played a crucial role in the success and comradery of the competition with tech-savvy students submitting entries to mini energy-saving competitions on Facebook. According to surveys, 87% of residents were inspired to change their behaviour through the competition.

By week 14, Weir House had saved 6% and Te Puni 3.5%, compared to electricity use in the respective Houses for the same period in 2014. Victoria University has reinvested the savings on sustainable transport for the students and so the competition’s legacy will be six new bicycles to borrow, and potentially a generation of energy-smart graduates.

Judges said:

A standout use of innovation in the form of social media. This project is highly replicable for other universities – the consequence being a lifelong awareness of the importance of energy conservation.

 

Commended – Great Barrier Island Community Radio Trust

A community hub and shining star of self-sufficient and sustainable energy generation.

Photo of people involved with Great Barrier Island Radio Trust.
Great Barrier Island Community Radio Trust

Islanders are harnessing the sun and wind to power Aotea FM, a completely volunteer-run radio station that’s become the heart and soul of the Hauraki Gulf.

The enjoyment of living in relative isolation, 86 kilometres off the coast of Auckland, is achieved not without some team work and ingenuity. Great Barrier Islanders are off the grid and their community-run radio station demonstrates the ‘make do and mend’ attitude behind their glowing green status in energy generation and community empowerment.

The venture is a 100% renewably powered FM broadcast radio network, on-air 365 days a year. The main broadcast studio at Claris uses 1,500 watts of solar and 750 watts of wind power stored in 26.4 kilowatt-hours of deep cycle batteries, with additional solar power for the transmitters.

Aotea FM was designed and built on Great Barrier Island by local people and volunteers. The nature of the island means that transmitter technology requiring high altitude is sited in hard-to-reach areas, often only accessible by foot or helicopter.

The determination behind the station’s construction is equally matched by the unpaid hours donated by the community to run it.  Programmes use local people and businesses for content, including the three schools and local iwi. It also provides a secondary level of emergency services communication.

Without the sun and wind, the entire operation would require the constant running of diesel generators with fuel costs of $26,000 per year, and associated air pollution and carbon emissions. Aotea FM is a potential renewable energy blueprint for communications projects in isolated communities.

Judges said:

An inspiring and enthusiastic renewable energy project that is bringing great benefits in connectivity to the community.

Sponsor

Fujitsu General is New Zealand’s leading specialist heat pump / air conditioning brand.

The company has always made energy efficiency a priority -  pioneering the use of energy efficient R32 refrigerant in New Zealand, and producing the first ever ENERGY STAR® qualified whole home central heating and cooling systems.

Fujitsu General is proud to have been a founding partner of the ENERGY STAR programme, and inaugural winner of the Wares  ‘ENERGY STAR Supplier Partner of the Year Award.

 Fujitsu Heatpump    Energy Star Partner Logo

Related resources