Kiwi ingenuity shines at energy efficiency awards

Winners of the EECA Business Awards 2018 have been announced and New Zealand’s economy and environment are the biggest winners of all.

The theme this year was ‘innovation and leadership’ and only the largest of New Zealand’s energy users were eligible to enter.

An outstanding selection of energy efficiency and low emission stories were submitted by businesses, health and education providers and the public sector – and the University of Waikato set to work as judges to separate the good from the great, from the totally awesome.

“There are no losers here,” said Andrew Caseley, Chief Executive of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA). “Least of all our environment and economy. “Every entry to the EECA Business Awards demonstrates the effort New Zealand companies are making in their daily work to bring a low-emissions future closer to becoming a reality for the country.

“Those businesses commended, highly commended or that won their category, are some of the smartest in New Zealand. Their success can be drawn on by others for solutions in energy efficiency and emissions reduction.

“Through the Awards we have seen innovative technology put to work, the establishment of long term energy and emissions reduction goals, and staff engagement and empowerment that, collectively, demonstrates a Kiwi workforce with energy efficiency at its heart.”

The University of Waikato’s Engineering Energy Research Centre gave their world-leading expertise to the judging process and were impressed with the broad range of organisations and projects in the mix.

“An eclectic mix of energy efficient, low-emission stories have contributed to the stellar line up in this year’s EECA Business Awards,” said Dr Martin Atkins from the University Waikato. “It is both inspiring and reassuring to read through these contributions.

“Businesses thinking long term and setting targets for energy and emissions reduction are what counts for New Zealand. Important environmental decisions sitting alongside financial ones improves a business’ durability, and it was this that we wanted to reward through the Awards.”

EECA Business Award winners


Innovation Award

Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa

The Canterbury tourist attraction is converting methane - a greenhouse gas and by-product of collecting underground thermal water - into electricity with a 65kw Capstone Turbine generator, which provides power to the facility.

Public Sector Award

Victoria University of Wellington

The University is more than a decade in to its comprehensive energy management programme and despite a 15 percent increase in floor space and an additional 500 equivalent full-time students in that time, energy use continues to drop, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2,800 tonnes per year. A combination of improved building management systems, renewable energy generation and student buy-in has achieved the result.

Energy & Emissions Reduction Project Award

Goodman Property Trust

Using the NABERSNZ tool to assess the performance of buildings and provide a benchmark to measure system optimisation and upgrades has led to an overall targeted rating of 4.5 stars for Goodman Property’s seven waterfront commercial buildings, which support a 7,000 workforce. Lighting and HVAC are the main energy-efficiency heroes that have saved tenants more than $1.1 million in operating costs since 2014, and avoided 775 tonnes of carbon emissions so far.

Energy & Emissions Leadership Award

Roseline Klein, Watercare Services Ltd

Energy efficiency is everybody's responsibility at Watercare, due to a staff engagement and empowerment strategy led by Roseline Klein. Making energy-saving a team effort and introducing technologies into a long term energy efficiency strategy has them set to achieve their energy neutrality targets for the waste-water plants.

Large Energy User of the Year Award

Red Stag Timber

The installation of a new 4.2MW steam turbine and a 10MW biomass boiler at Red Stag’s wood-processing plant has closed the gap on their long term energy-efficiency and low-carbon business plan. Wood waste is used as renewable fuel to generate all the electricity the site needs, their energy self-sufficiency has put production up, and the power bill down.

See a full list of commended, highly commended and winning businesses


EECA Business Awards:

This year we chose to be more targeted with our awards. EECA has a strong climate change focus and as a result we wanted to celebrate those large energy users in New Zealand who are making big reductions in carbon emissions through saving energy or switching fuel types.

To enter the EECA Business Awards 2018, an organisation needed to meet the following criteria:

  • The organisation is in a current EECA Collaboration Agreement contract;


  • The organisation’s annual energy spend is greater than $1 million excluding GST AND the organisation emits a total of more than 10,000 tonnes of CO2 annually;


  • The organisation is in the public sector, with an annual energy spend of $200,000 or more. In addition to the overall Awards eligibility criteria, each category has specific criteria for entry.

Judging for the EECA Business Awards 2018 is provided by the University of Waikato, whose Energy Research Group is recognised as one of New Zealand’s foremost industrial engineering learning organisations.

Media enquiries:

Beth Rose, Senior Communications Advisor, EECA

Phone: 021 082 05547