EECA welcomes next step in district energy proposal

The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) today welcomed the appointment of three suppliers to carry out feasibility studies into a proposed district energy scheme in Christchurch.

EECA is supporting the Christchurch Agency for Energy (CAFÉ) with $120,000 in co-funding for the feasibility studies.

"A district energy scheme in the Christchurch CBD could potentially provide a boost for the city both economically and environmentally," said EECA chief executive Mike Underhill.

"Much work needs to be done to establish the commercial and technical viability of such a scheme. An energy scheme that delivers renewably-sourced heat and cooling to the CBD could substantially lower energy costs and carbon emissions, helping the profitability of local businesses, and boosting Christchurch's reputation as a low-carbon city."

Mr Underhill said the selection of a team with local and international expertise, meant that experience with district energy systems from around the world, will be applied to Christchurch.

"Clearly there are many hurdles to be overcome before such a scheme gets the green light, but the potential benefits to Christchurch and the rest of New Zealand makes it well worth exploring. EECA is pleased to support the full and thorough examination of a district energy option as part of the city's recovery."

EECA is also working alongside CAFE to support the progress of the feasibility studies, with input on the project steering group.