Christchurch Agency for Energy

Helping our city use energy wisely


CAfE is the official energy agency for Christchurch. We are committed to developing Christchurch as an energy-smart city.

Christchurch Energy Database - Introduction

Mon, 22/08/2011 - 2:12pm -- admin

Neo Leaf Global Limited is contracted to the Christchurch Agency for Energy (CAfE) to provide ongoing energy supply and usage data for Christchurch to assist in:

  • the promotion of energy efficiency initiatives
  • the increased use of renewable energy as a proportion of total energy usage
  • the reduction of environmental problems caused by the use of fossil fuels
  • the introduction of initiatives to address negative health and social impacts caused by fuel poverty and energy affordability issues.

This work is outlined in the Sustainable Energy Strategy for Christchurch 2008 - 2018 published by the Christchurch City Council.

Smart fleet management

Mon, 11/07/2011 - 5:15pm -- sam

Your business vehicle fleet can probably be more fuel efficient and managed with fuel sustainability in mind.  

The application of the following smart tips may vary from business to business and vehicle to vehicle, but this list is a menu of options that may be relevant to your business.

1. Your choice of vehicle size is the first point at which fuel economy can be influenced.  If your work vehicles travel short distances, travel at or below the 50km speed limit and frequently stop and start, a smaller engined vehicle is more appropriate.  Vehicles which transport goods as well as staff, drive on the open road and go long distances will be more efficient with a larger engine.  Do a thorough analysis of the needs for your fleet before you buy.

Energy data shows Christchurch using less electricity

Mon, 05/03/2012 - 1:12pm -- sam

The Christchurch Agency for Energy (CAfE) has today released fourth quarter 2011 (October to December) energy use data.

 Database and tables are here:

CAfE Acting Chief Executive Merv Altments says, “Energy use was down significantly between March and July, and while overall energy use is now comparable to previous years, the composition of energy sources being used in the city has changed. Compared to 2010, electricity and petrol use in 2011 was down 10% and 6% respectively and diesel use was up 5%.

DES - What is a District Energy Scheme?

Tue, 24/04/2012 - 11:09am -- sam

District Energy Schemes are a 21st century shift to sustainable and efficient use of energy in our buildings. A DES links buildings; sharing heating and cooling systems and taking advantage of economies of scales. Heat and cooling share a common piping system (which is hydraulically separated) and energy is generated using renewable fuels.

 See the attached background information including basics on whether you can connect should a DES go ahead.

Energy generation opportunities

Mon, 04/07/2011 - 12:27pm -- sam

The future will see a greater range of renewable energy generation and CAfE will be at the forefront of identifying Christchurch energy opportunities.

Greater use of renewable energy sources requires reliable and economic supply of power.  These sources will need to be established and developed, and CAfE will be there to assist in this process.  

CAfE, in partnership with Orion, Christchurch City Council, ECAN, Meridian Energy, TrustPower and others will identify, foster, encourage and support identification of sites and opportunities for renewable power generation.

Energyfirst: 138 Victoria St

Mon, 17/06/2013 - 1:45pm -- rory

When it comes to building new office blocks in Christchurch, it makes sense to do it with an eye on the future, especially if it’s going to save you money in the long run. That’s what developer SM Richards Estates has done with its new building at 138 Victoria St. The developers approached CAfE’s Energyfirst consultant Jeff Smit who works for energy management company, Demand Response, to review their designs to see if they met energy efficiency standards.

With years of experience in sustainable building design, both in New Zealand and throughout the Middle East, Jeff is part of a national team of energy auditors at Demand Response that has helped Kiwi industries and commercial businesses save millions of dollars through optimising their energy use in their buildings, operational assets and production processes.

Energy Awareness 2012 Programme for April - May

Wed, 28/03/2012 - 11:59am -- rory

Christchurch’s energy awareness programme for residents, businesses and organisations.
Building energy awareness toward an energy-smart city using more innovative renewable energy sources, and adopting more efficient use of power. The May-June activities finished with the Press Great Energy Debate on 9 May and other events will run through 2012. Read the CAfE EA12 Programme.

Christchurch Energy Database - Assumptions

Mon, 22/08/2011 - 2:21pm -- admin

Assumptions used in the development of the Christchurch Energy Database are as follows:

  • The database is designed to present energy supply and usage data for Christchurch in monthly format from January 2008.  Quarterly updates of the database will occur to ensure the data is as up to date as practically feasible.
  • Christchurch is defined as the area under the jurisdiction of the Christchurch City Council, including Banks Peninsula. Where specific separation of energy data by local authority area is not possible, best estimates are applied based on available information.

Woody biomass; past and future energy

Fri, 17/06/2011 - 1:20pm -- sam

Woody biomass includes wood, wood chips, wood residue and by-products, and dedicated, fast growing trees, bushes and shrubs. Programmes to utilise woody biomass can include the harvest, sale, offer, trade, or use of woody biomass to produce bioenergy, and the full range of biobased products including lumber, composites, paper and pulp, furniture, housing components, round wood, ethanol and other liquids, chemicals, and energy feedstocks.

Biomass is renewable and can be grown and used sustainably with limited impact on greenhouse gas emissions as growing more small woody trees compensates for any carbon emitted. Biomass in various forms has been a source of energy for thousands of years all around the world.

Energyfirst: Jellie Park High Performance Centre

Mon, 17/06/2013 - 10:57am -- rory

A new high performance training base in Christchurch will play an important part in a local athlete's build-up to their next world championships, Olympic or Paralympic Games. The Government has commited to providing high performance training facilities for Canterbury-based athletes following earthquake damage to the Centre of Excellence at QEII Park.

Sport New Zealand, High Performance Sport New Zealand (HPSNZ) and Christchurch City Council have been working together to provide a place for high performance athletes to train. The $3.5 million facility is being fully funded by the Government and is being built on land which is part of the Jellie Park Recreation and Sports Centre complex.

An Energyfirst grant was awarded and Jeff Smit of Demand Response selected to provide free expert energy advice.
The design advice helped improve the internal services and make sure that the ‘small things’ were not overlooked on a project with a tight delivery programme.

Wind energy opportunities

Fri, 17/06/2011 - 1:21pm -- sam

New Zealand’s maritime climate and separation from other land masses supports use of electricity generated by wind power.  Increasingly wind farms and generators are achieving resource consent and being constructed.

There is potential for micro-generation, that is power generated for single properties or businesses. Already wind is generating power that is going into New Zealand’s national grid. A study by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) in 2003 suggested Christchurch has strong potential for power generation from wind in both industrial and micro schemes.

Integrated Design Process;The Pareto Rule revisited

Wed, 20/06/2012 - 11:34am -- rory

The Pareto Rule revisited: 80% of performance in first 20% of design process?

There is general consensus in the building industry that to build quality environments there needs to be a shift in practice. Within the industry, research conducted by members of the International Building Performance Simulation Association (IBPSA) has concluded that the critical phase in design, when their performance analysis tools can make a difference, is in the first few days and hours of the design concept development.

Business support available from EECA

Tue, 04/10/2011 - 5:55pm -- sam

If your business has been affected by the Christchurch earthquakes, EECA is here to help. As their website says - "when it's time to get back to business, ensuring you have the most energy efficient premises and equipment possible will pay dividends in lower energy costs, improved productivity and brand value."

EECA has several different funding programmes to help businesses improve competitiveness and productivity through energy.  All of these can be seen here:

EECA Business grants are targeted at larger energy users ($250,000+ pa). To support the rebuild, Christchurch-based companies get extra weighting for these grants. These can cover up to 1/3 of the cost of an energy audit, design audit, or investing in new energy efficient technology. EECA runs monthly contestable funding rounds for business grant applications.

Renewable energy summary

Fri, 27/04/2012 - 4:09pm -- sam

The world relies heavily on oil, coal, and natural gas for its energy. Fossil fuels are non-renewable and use finite resources that will eventually run out, or become too expensive or too environmentally damaging to retrieve. The good news is that we are learning more about the many types of renewable energy resources such as wind, wave and solar energy which are constantly replenished and won’t run out. Also see the CAfE 'More About Renewable Energy Flyer'.