Commercial building energy programme to focus on Christchurch

Friday 21 October 2011, 1:27PM
By Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA)


A new programme to incentivise energy efficient commercial buildings will start with a focus on the Christchurch rebuild.

Design, construction and energy services experts are being invited to respond to a request for proposals issued today by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA), on a new commercial buildings programme.

Commercial buildings account for 9% of our national energy use and 21% of electricity use. The electricity used in buildings alone costs New Zealand businesses around $1.25 billion every year, of which around $280 million could in time be saved, cost-effectively*. The programme aims to unlock these and other energy savings, helping Kiwi businesses become more competitive and profitable through cutting energy waste and costs.

EECA is looking to develop a three-pronged programme:

  • Up to 100% funding of energy expertise at building design stage, to embed energy efficiency early on
  • Part-funding of energy management advice to commercial building owners
  • Part-funding of energy-saving projects in commercial buildings that wouldn’t go ahead otherwise.

Programmes will all be delivered via contracted expert service providers. EECA is inviting proposals from potential providers, and is also welcoming ideas for alternative programmes which will help overcome the financial barriers for companies in investing in more energy efficient buildings.

Although the programmes are aimed to support businesses across the country, it’s planned to start the funded design element in Christchurch – where the scale of commercial rebuilding presents huge potential for energy savings.

“Christchurch represents a huge opportunity to lock in energy savings at the building design stage, and deliver a long-term benefit to the region’s business sector,” said EECA Chief Executive Mike Underhill. “Energy efficient buildings have lower operating costs, hold their value longer, are more attractive to tenants and more pleasant for occupants.

“If Christchurch’s commercial buildings are designed and built to be as energy efficient as possible, annual energy savings will be worth millions to the local economy – and that’s before calculating the improved productivity or brand value.”

Mr Underhill stressed that the programmes are still in development, and feedback from all relevant stakeholders – particularly agencies involved in the Christchurch recovery effort - would be taken into account. EECA is also working with the New Zealand Green Building Council, and other bodies contributing to the Christchurch reconstruction. EECA’s programmes will complement an energy design advice service planned by the Christchurch Agency for Energy.

The RFP closes on Friday 18 November, and a final programme for commercial building owners should be in place in December.

EECA will hold a series of briefing sessions for potential providers during early November. For more information, see