Case Study 4: Canterbury Sharing of Energy Management Expertise

Local Authorities Working Together.

Who Is Involved?

Christchurch City Council and Hurunui District Council.

What Led To The Joint Arrangement?

The arrangement came about when the chief executive of Hurunui District Council approached the chief executive of Christchurch City Council seeking the assistance of the city’s Energy Manager. Hurunui District Council identified two major objectives:

  • to establish a process for continuous improvement in energy management; and
  • to introduce energy efficiency into the corporate culture.

From Christchurch City Council’s perspective, being involved in this joint arrangement allowed it to participate in a cost-neutral model for the promotion of energy efficiency in a rural area. It also gave Christchurch City Council an opportunity to work positively alongside a smaller, rural council, helping to build stronger local government relationships in the Canterbury area.

How Does It Work?

Hurunui District Council formed an energy management group of senior staff. It was agreed that Christchurch City Council’s Energy Manager would be available to the Hurunui council for about 10 days a year. During that time, the Energy Manager:

  • renegotiated Hurunui District Council’s electricity supply agreement, achieving a 13% saving in electricity costs;
  • produced a breakdown of energy consumption and established monitoring systems that are synchronised with the council’s financial management system;
  • conducted energy audits at all major facilities; and
  • identified the potential for savings at the council-owned Hanmer Springs Thermal Reserve, which resulted in a 99% reduction in water-heating costs.

Christchurch City Council charges Hurunui District Council a flat rate each year for the services of the Energy Manager. This rate is calculated on the basis of the provision of up to 10 days of energy management advice. The Energy Manager records the time spent on work for Hurunui District Council to ensure that the fee covers the costs of actual time.

Under the joint arrangement, Hurunui District Council can contact the Energy Manager whenever it needs energy management advice. The arrangement works well for Hurunui District Council which pays a capped annual fee, while retaining the flexibility of being able to call on expert advice whenever it is needed. Similar arrangements are now in place between Christchurch City Council and the Waimakariri, Mackenzie, and Banks Peninsula District Councils.

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