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Managing plant and equipment

The plant and equipment that companies rely on can vary widely, depending on the sector and scale of operation. But regardless of whether you’re running a large manufacturing plant or a small consultancy, your energy costs can be reduced by choosing and using your equipment well.

This page gives energy efficiency guidance for all types of business plant and equipment, including links to more in-depth information.

In your office

Office equipment – nearly half the energy used by computers is wasted as heat. Learn about ‘power management’ modes and more, to save energy.

In your building

Building management systems – computer-based systems can monitor and control your building’s heating, cooling and lighting, helping you manage energy and reduce waste.

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning – setting your systems up well and maintaining them regularly will help to keep staff comfortable and save energy.

Hot water – insulating pipes, checking and repairing leaks and installing flow regulators, will all help to reduce hot water wastage and costs.

Insulation – although it’s not usually practical to retrofit insulation in large business premises, it can make a big difference to smaller buildings.

Lighting – using energy-efficient lamps and fittings, and ensuring lights are switched off, can help you save up to 40% of your lighting energy costs.

Refrigeration – from large-scale coolstores to the fridge in the staff kitchen, there are opportunities to save energy and money.

In your plant

Compressed air – leaks in compressed air systems typically account for 20% of air demand, so continuous repair is a cost-effective energy-saver. Learn more about keeping your system efficient.

Electric motors - Three-phase motors account for around 24% of New Zealand's total electricity use. Get help with the ‘repair or replace’ dilemma, operating tips, and more.

Pumping and fan systems – these are often big energy-users in industrial operations. Find out how to improve efficiency.

Heat recovery – heat recovery takes waste heat from one part of the process – such as refrigeration - and re-uses it to save energy. Learn about investigating heat recovery for your operation.

Steam, hot water and process heat – energy costs over the life of a steam system often outweigh the cost of the system itself. Regular boiler tuning is just one way to reduce energy waste.

Buying equipment

Energy ratings and labels:

ENERGY STAR® is an independent energy rating programme that guarantees the IT or appliance you’re buying is among the most energy efficient available. It’s a good idea to have a policy that all new equipment or appliances must have an ENERGY STAR mark. Find ENERGY STAR products.

Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) stipulate that certain products and equipment must meet minimum energy performance levels before they can be legally sold in New Zealand. MEPS apply to some commercial and industrial equipment, including three-phase motors. Find out more.

Your staff and energy efficiency

One of the most powerful factors influencing energy efficiency in the workplace, is how people behave. Around half the energy used in a typical business is under the direct control of employees.

This means that simply changing behaviour at work can dramatically improve energy efficiency – for no cost. It also means that your staff can undermine the efficiency of your plant and equipment without realising, through energy-wasting behaviour. It’s worth investing time to get your staff on-board with energy-saving initiatives. Find out more.

Help from EECA

Download documents:

Maximising your investment in technology – a technical guide that outlines best-practice steps and traps to avoid when planning your investment in technology.

The Saving Energy in Business action sheet series has easy-to-follow ideas and checklists help make your company more energy efficient:

Software to measure and manage energy – a guide to different types of energy management systems available for businesses.