Fresh opportunity for public agencies to save energy and money
The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) today opened the latest funding round for Crown loans to support energy efficiency and renewable energy projects across public sector organisations.
EECA Business General Manager Greg Visser said public sector organisations could access interest-free loans to invest in energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy technology
“The opportunities are many and varied. A hospital may swap environmentally unfriendly boilers for heat pumps, a polytech might retrofit super-efficient LED lights, or a council might receive assistance to invest in electric vehicles,” Mr Visser said.
“Invariably, entities such as hospitals and universities have higher priorities than saving energy. But these targeted, interest-free loans mean funding is not diverted from core priorities. Indeed, ongoing energy savings allow more money to go into those priority needs.”
In a previous funding round, Southern District Health Board got funding to upgrade energy management systems at Southland Hospital using a combination of Crown loans and EECA funding. The project will create energy cost savings of $138,000 and carbon reductions of 1,350 tonnes a year.
“It is well known that many hospitals need to allocate almost all available funds to clinical services. We know from previous funding rounds that many projects would never have got off the ground without Crown loans,” Mr Visser said.
EECA research shows that public sector organisations, just like any business, can save up to 20% of the energy they use through smarter energy use. That can have a big impact on energy bills. There are also other benefits such as improved patient comfort through better building lighting and heating and cooling.
EECA can also use its expertise in energy efficiency to help Crown entities develop an energy management plan across all its parts so there is a long-term focus on energy management and savings.
Mr Visser said the loans are a great chance for public sector organisations to be innovative and prioritise energy management. The latest round, totalling $2 million, closes on 31 March.
In the past five years, 38 public sector projects have received Crown loans, resulting in cumulative savings of $9 million and carbon reductions of over 5,000 tonnes each year.