ASB and NZ Post win for network-wide energy savings

Thursday 24 May 2012, 9:54AM


Two of New Zealand’s major retail banks have been recognised in the 2012 EECA Awards for cutting energy use and CO2 emissions.

ASB won the Large Business Award for a programme that has cut electricity use by 23%, saving $850,000 a year in energy costs. And NZ Post Group – which includes Kiwibank – won both the Public Sector and Energy Management awards for its success in reducing CO2 emissions by 9.5%, avoiding $5.6 million in energy costs to date.

ASB’s Save Watt programme, initiated in 2004, has seen a concerted focus to improve energy use across every facet of operations. It’s invested more than $2 million in energy efficiency projects including sensors to turn off lights and software to shut down PCs, upgrading heating and air conditioning systems, and ‘free cooling’ in its computer centre (using cooler outside air to take the pressure off air conditioning chillers). It constantly monitors and targets energy use across its 145-branch network, and even encourages staff to track daily energy consumption via an online tool.

NZ Post Group has specific action groups to target transport and building energy use, with each site’s performance reported via ‘scorecards’ to the executive team. A series of energy audits highlighted 30 sites that accounted for 60% of the Group’s energy use; as a result they upgraded lighting, heating and air conditioning and installed smart meters and real-time energy monitoring. As well as retrofitting, energy efficiency is embedded in new build projects such as CourierPost’s new Auckland Operations Centre. This is New Zealand’s first Green Star-certified industrial building with features such as rain water harvesting and CO2 monitoring.

EECA Chief Executive Mike Underhill said both winners had successfully improved energy efficiency across very large property portfolios.

“Both organisations have used textbook best practice to drive down their energy use and deliver to the bottom line. Commercial buildings are massive users of energy and most are nowhere near as efficient as they could be. By monitoring energy use, honing in on waste and using commonsense actions alongside capital investment, it can make a massive difference to energy efficiency.”

Mr Underhill said it was no accident that engaging staff was a common feature of both winning entries. “A motivated, energy conscious workforce is crucial to improving energy use. Both ASB and NZ Post have harnessed their staff to help achieve great results.”

The Supreme Award was won by Air New Zealand, which has reduced fuel use by 15% and cut CO2 emissions by 142,000 tonnes per year.

Across all 2012 EECA Awards entrants, the value of energy saved or generated over the life of the projects is $600 million, and the total CO2 emissions reduced or avoided is 1.7 million tonnes.

The other finalists acknowledged in these Award categories are:
Large business award - sponsored by EcoInsulation:
Highly commended - Nelson Pine Industries
Commended - SCA Hygiene Australasia

Energy management award - sponsored by Contact Energy:
Highly commended - Nelson Pine Industries
Commended - ASB

Public sector award - sponsored by the Energy Centre, University of Auckland Business School
Co-winner - New Plymouth District Council
Highly commended - Kapiti Coast District Council
-           New Zealand Defence Force / Nature’s Flame

The EECA Awards are presented in association with Principal Sponsors EcoInsulation, Fujitsu General New Zealand and Vector.

For more on the EECA Award winners see

2012 EECA Award winners - full list

Supreme Winner: Air New Zealand
Transport: Air New Zealand
Large Business: ASB
Small to Medium Business: Ecosystems and Whanganui PAK‘nSAVE
Energy Management: New Zealand Post Group
Innovation: Aurecon NZ and Dominion Salt
Renewable Energy: Golden Bay Cement
Public Sector: New Zealand Post Group / New Plymouth District Council
Community: Greater Wellington Regional Council
Outstanding Contribution: Jeanette Fitzsimons