Council again a finalist in 2016 EECA awards
The council has been listed as a finalist in this year’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) awards after a double win two years ago.
The judges commended the council for continuing to invest in energy efficiency and for showing on-going high standards of energy management since winning the Public Sector Award in 2014. It is again a finalist in this category, along with four other contenders.
Mayor Ross Church says the news is exciting and very validating. “Over the past five years, this council has won a string of national awards not only for talking the talk but walking the walk when it comes to protecting the planet. I am immensely proud of these achievements.”
Council has entered its highly-successful Carbon and Energy Management Programme in the awards. The long-running project is designed to reduce energy use across council operations.
“We can’t ask the community to model sustainable behaviour and habits if we don’t show we can do it ourselves,” says the mayor. “This is very much a dual project to enlist our staff in our own organisational goals, and inspire change in the wider community, by example.”
Some of the initiatives included in the Carbon and Energy Management programme include:
- running a campaign to help staff reduce energy use – such as promoting walking, cycling or using public transport and learning fuel-efficient driving techniques.
- improving efficiency in our vehicle fleet by gradually replacing older vehicles with more energy-efficient ones
- savings from the introduction of water meters. Less water being treated and reticulated has led to a 159 tonne reduction in CO2 emissions and cost savings of $88,000 in 2014/15
- installing a solar power project at the Paraparaumu Waste Water Treatment Plant, which is reducing carbon emissions and energy costs by $6,500
- Achieving an excellence rating the NABERSNZ building energy rating scheme for two years running for the civic building
- increasingly installing LED street lights in the district and public facilities, such as the Paraparaumu Library Art Space and meeting room
- The creation of a Lego ‘eco town’ to highlight the council’s carbon reduction efforts including the transition to LED streetlights.
- This involved working with Lego fans of all ages to build the town, which was lit by a high-pressure sodium lamp and LED lamp to show the power saving and colour difference between the two types of lights. The success of this project led to the council also using Lego bricks to highlight cycle safety as part of an intersection upgrade project, and to imagine a sustainable town centre of the future for Paraparaumu, working once again with local residents, schools and community groups. The latter project was given an excellence award by the International Association for Public Participation in 2015.
The awards EECA awards ceremony will be held on May 18th at Shed 10, Auckland Waterfront.