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Episode 14 :: Low cost ways to save energy

This episode shows how a hotel chain reduced its energy use with a series of low-cost measures which added up to big savings.

The Novotel hotel in Ellerslie was the first in the chain to undergo an energy audit. It found several low-cost ways to save energy, including motion sensors for lighting and devices to manage hot water use. All the measures implemented paid for themselves within a year. All Novotel hotels in New Zealand now have energy-saving programmes as well as silver certification under the Green Globe environmental certification scheme. 

EECA’s experience working with companies that have energy audits, show that typically 10% of energy can be saved through no- and low-cost changes – i.e. actions that will pay for themselves within a year.

The Novotel hotel in Ellerslie was the first in the chain to undergo an energy audit. It found several low-cost ways to save energy, including motion sensors for lighting and devices to manage hot water use. All the measures implemented paid for themselves within a year. All Novotel hotels in New Zealand now have energy-saving programmes as well as silver certification under the Green Globe environmental certification scheme.

Read the Novotel case study

Low-cost changes

Many of the most common areas of energy consumption can be controlled and reduced with little or no up-front cost. There are low-cost ways to cut the energy used by lighting, equipment, heating and air conditioning, hot water and transport.

Read these for more energy saving ideas: 

Bullet point Saving energy at work – lighting
Bullet point Saving energy at work – office equipment
Bullet point Saving energy at work – heating and cooling
Bullet point Saving energy at work –
transport
Bullet point Saving energy at work – involving staff

Bullet point Download ‘switch off' posters to put up around your business

Energy audits

For many companies, an energy audit is the best way to kick-start an energy management programme because it delivers comprehensive, independent advice on where the energy savings are. While a lot of energy can be saved through a common-sense approach and behaviour change, it often takes an energy expert to locate the worst areas of energy waste and recommend the most cost-effective way to tackle it.

EECA’s analysis shows that for every $1 invested in an energy audit, typically $7.50 worth of savings are identified. Most companies can save on average, 20% of energy costs:

  • 10% through no and low-cost changes (payback of 12 months or less)
  • 10% with some investment (payback of 1 – 5 years).

Bullet point Find out more about energy audits
Bullet point Find out whether your business could qualify for an EECA energy audit grant 
Bullet point Find an energy auditor 

Energy saving in tourism

Tourism-related companies often have a lot to gain from energy efficiency and / or renewable energy, as overseas consumers are increasingly aware of their environmental impact. As a result, the sector has been in the advance guard of New Zealand businesses tackling energy efficiency.

The Tourism Energy Efficiency Programme is a joint initiative between EECA and the Tourism Industry Association. It involved mentoring a number of businesses through an energy audit and saved participating companies an average of 15% in energy costs.   

Bullet point Find out more about the Tourism Energy Efficiency Programme
Bullet point Read case studies about tourism businesses that are saving energy and money 

Make saving energy part of a formal programme for the whole business

For help with your energy planning and management, download our free guides - Setting up an energy management programme (Part 1) and Key aspects of implementing an energy management programme (Part 2).

More information

How to be energy efficient

Case studies – what are other companies doing?