Why we focus on business

A massive 40% of New Zealand’s energy-related emissions come from the business sector.

The largest portion of this comes from industrial process heat — the  steam, hot water or hot gases used in industrial processing, manufacturing and space heating. About half of New Zealand's process heat demand comes from burning coal or natural gas.

The good news is, there are a number of low-emissions alternatives available for businesses that not only reduce emissions, but can also lower energy costs and improve profitability.

How process heat is used in New Zealand

Use by sector

  • 79% by the industrial sector — including sawmills, pulp and paper mills, and food processing plants (including dairy).
  • 10% by the commercial sector — mainly in shops and office buildings.
  • 7% by the public sector — schools, hospitals, prisons and public administration buildings.
  • 4% by the agricultural sector — mainly for indoor cropping (glasshouses).

Types of fuels used and their impact

  • 38% natural gas — accounting for 50% of the greenhouse gas emissions from process heat.
  • 11% coal — 26% of greenhouse gas emissions (coal holds the highest carbon content of any fossil fuel, and is more emissions intensive per unit of industrial output than any other source).
  • 23% wood-derived fuels (including black liquor)— 1% greenhouse gas emissions, collectively.

Source: EECA Energy End Use Database 2016 (2018).

The business sector accounts for about

  • 50%

    of our total energy use

  • 40%

    of New Zealand's total energy-related emissions

Our strategy

Desired outcomes

  • Businesses meet emissions reductions targets.
  • Businesses use low emissions innovations and insights.
  • Businesses benefit from improved energy productivity.

Our priorities

  • Improving our support to businesses through better use of data and insights.
  • Investigating new opportunities to support business sectors, and funding new technology opportunities.
  • Fast-tracking investment into, and implementation of, projects that reduce business emissions.
  • Exploring new funding mechanisms to accelerate decarbonisation.

What we're doing now

Projects co-funded by EECA

Read more case studies and articles

  • Article

    Red meat, green energy

    By switching to cleaner technologies, Alliance Group is helping reduce Southland’s carbon footprint.

    • Case study
    • Decarbonisation
    • Process heat

    7 October 2022

  • Article

    WoolWorks leading the way in the wool industry

    World-first decarbonisation of a New Zealand wool scouring plant.

    • Co-funding 
    • Process heat
    • Decarbonisation

    21 July 2022

  • Article

    Final stage of energy strategy for fresh produce company

    A Kiwi crop company is looking to lead the way in low-carbon produce, so we can eat our salads knowing they haven’t been grown in coal-heated glasshouses.

    • Co-funding 
    • Innovation
    • Decarbonisation

    20 July 2022