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Commercial and services

Commercial and service-oriented businesses are not typically among New Zealand’s most energy-intensive. However, energy use can still add up to a significant overhead and the sector provides some impressive examples of successful, group-wide energy management projects.

Energy efficiency can help office-based businesses of all sizes reduce costs, reduce carbon emissions and improve business performance.

Commercial energy efficiency in action

DraftFCB and Aspec Properties joined forces and cut energy use by close to 40%, made their space more comfortable, and have proven that owners and tenants both win with energy efficiency. Read the case study.

ASB cut energy use by 23%, saving around $850,000 a year, with an ongoing programme of energy management that includes lighting upgrades, free-cooling in its computer centre, and an innovative tool that lets staff track daily energy use. Read about its 2012 EECA Award and the earlier case study.

New Zealand Post’s effort to reduce carbon emissions by 12% has seen it tackle energy efficiency across its whole operation, from mail centres to transport fleet. It has avoided $5.6 million in energy costs. Read about its 2012 EECA Award.

Fletcher Building Ltd (FBL) and EECA have introduced a company-wide energy efficiency programme. The programme, proposed by FBL, will include efficiency initiatives across six of their divisions, and will provide both immediate and long-term energy efficiency benefits for FBL and New Zealand. Read more.

Energy efficiency in the commercial and services sectors

  • Heating, ventilation and air conditioning – a regularly tuned and maintained HVAC system will save money. So will understanding how to use it so staff can adjust the temperature for maximum comfort. Read more.
  • Lighting – for commercial tenants, lighting is often the biggest energy cost. Installing energy-efficient lights and fittings, and ensuring lights are switched off when not in use, can be a big cost-saver. Read more.
  • Office equipment – choosing only ENERGY STAR-rated equipment and appliances will ensure you buy one of the most energy-efficient models available. There are ways to reduce energy consumption even further, through how IT equipment is set up and used. Read more.
  • Transport – If you run a fleet there are many routes to improve fuel use. Combining trips to avoid fuel waste, planning journey times to avoid congestion and making sure vehicles aren’t overloaded, are just a few simple ways to improve your fuel efficiency. Read more.
  • Hot water – whether your company uses a little or a lot of hot water, fixing leaks and minimising wastage will pay dividends. Read more.
  • Staff – Do your employees switch off lights, computer equipment and appliances when they’re not needed? Motivated people can be the best energy savers of all. Read more.

Getting serious about energy management

To get the maximum benefit from energy efficiency, consider setting up a formal energy management programme. This ensures energy use is reviewed and managed on an ongoing basis, and will build on your achievements. It will also cement energy-aware thinking and behaviours in your organisation so it becomes just part of ‘the way things are done’.

Find out more about the steps to setting up an energy management programme.

Help from EECA

Download documents:

The Saving Energy in Business action sheet series has easy-to-follow low-cost ideas to put energy efficiency into action in your workplace, including handy checklists. Download action sheets on:

  1. Involving staff
  2. Heating and cooling
  3. Lighting
  4. Equipment and appliances
  5. Transport

Download our detailed two-part Energy Management Guide for step-by-step help with setting up your energy management programme:

Part 1: Setting up an energy management programme

Part 2: Key aspects of implementing an energy management programme

Grants and funding:

The Commercial Building Programme offers grant funding towards energy efficiency projects, setting up energy management programmes, and energy-efficient building design.