New technology increases control and brings healthy savings

Replacing two hospitals’ old diesel boilers with electric heat pumps has saved Northland DHB hundreds of thousands of dollars on energy costs and maintenance a year, partly by putting heat only where it was needed. The programme got off the ground with a Crown loan.

Northland DHB has committed to reducing its carbon emissions by 15% by 2025.

As part of the strategy to get there, the DHB replaced a centralised diesel boiler at Kawakawa hospital with modern heat pumps. It was so successful that boilers at Dargaville and Kaitaia hospitals followed suit.

Each new system can operate individually, providing separate buildings with their own source of hot water and heating and giving immediate energy savings.

The heat pumps can be adjusted in response to seasonal variations, building occupancy and the fact that not all wards are open day and night.

It also meant steam reticulation pipes to the boiler could be removed – a common source of saving as these pipes continuously lose heat.

Aside from the clear financial benefits, the change has gone a long way towards reducing the use of stationary diesel on the three sites and in turn significantly reducing emissions.

Dargaville hospital expected to save $111,000 on energy costs and $41,600 on maintenance. Kaitaia expected to save $89,000 on annual energy costs and $53,900 on maintenance. Potential diesel saving at both hospitals was 282,000 litres, leading to a carbon saving of 794 tonnes a year.

Crown loans help the public sector save money

The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) supported the Dargaville and Kaitaia projects with Crown loans of over $700,000. Crown loans are an interest-free way to fund energy efficiency and renewable energy projects for publicly funded organisations. Public sector organisations are also eligible for other EECA co-funding programmes.

Crown loans