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.

Energy greenhouse gases and carbon capture

Thu, 14/07/2011 - 4:05pm -- sam

Coal and Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS)

There are efforts to offset carbon emissions by creating carbon sinks or carbon 'sequestration' which describes removing carbon from the atmosphere. The use of coal as a giant filter is based on capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) from large point sources, such as fossil fuel power plants, and storing it in such a way that it does not enter our air.

EECA Clean Energy Expo 13-16 October - Taupo

Mon, 03/10/2011 - 10:44am -- sam

The EECA Clean Energy Expo is part of the REAL New Zealand Showcase - a programme being coordinated by the NZ2011 Office to present the very best of New Zealand business, innovation, expertise and excellence to the world during Rugby World Cup 2011. The Expo will feature workshops on geothermal and biomass aimed at businesses and industry, followed on the weekend by a public expo and tours. EECA will have an exhibition stand featuring a range of information on energy efficiency and renewable energy. The event is being held at the New Zealand Clean Energy Centre (NZCEC) in Taupo.<--break->

EECA welcomes next step in district energy proposal

Tue, 08/11/2011 - 12:03pm -- admin

07 November 2011 - The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) today welcomed the appointment of three suppliers to carry out feasibility studies into a proposed district energy scheme in Christchurch. EECA is supporting the Christchurch Agency for Energy (CAFÉ) with $120,000 in co-funding for the feasibility studies.
“A district energy scheme in the Christchurch CBD could potentially provide a boost for the city both economically and environmentally,” said EECA chief executive Mike Underhill.

View the energy data directly

Fri, 12/10/2012 - 1:28pm -- sam

Viewing the raw figures from the Christchurch Energy Database can help to clarify the exact changes and issues.
The Christchurch energy database is required to monitor and record energy used in Christchurch by type (electricity, petroleum products, wood etc), sector (industrial, commercial, residential, transportation etc) and proportion of renewable energy utilised in real-time (or as close to real-time as practicably achievable).  Historical data, back to 2008, is included in the database where available to provide baseline data and historical trends, including seasonal variations.

Christchurch Airport using Ground Source heating technology

Tue, 05/06/2012 - 3:23pm -- sam

New additions to Christchurch International Airport see a modern heating and cooling system utilising low temperature geothermal energy.

Christchurch Airport services almost six million passengers a year with an increase of 1.5 million forecasted by 2020.To accommodate all these passengers, replacement of the 50 year old domestic terminal and upgrades to the existing international terminal have been undertaken. Part of the upgrade is a state of the art heating and cooling system designed by Beca Ltd. The system’s design means that very little energy is wasted.

When ambient temperature permits, water from the wells is used to cool the airport with no aid from chillers. The 12°C water is pumped from the aquifer via boreholes to heat exchangers.

Major contractor to use biofuels in Christchurch

Thu, 14/07/2011 - 6:45pm -- sam 14 July 2011. Trans-Tasman civil engineering contractor Fulton Hogan says it will try running its vehicles on biodiesel fuel containing recycled cooking oils and canola oil made from oilseed rape grown in the Hurunui district and other dry areas of Canterbury. The trial could eventually result in Fulton Hogan running most of its New Zealand fleet and mobile generators on biodiesel blended with the normal diesel made from petroleum.

Better lightbulbs

Thu, 12/01/2012 - 11:18am -- sam

We're discovering in New Zealand that not all lightbulbs are created equal when comparing energy efficiency, life span and performance.

Scientific American has recently provided an analysis of the four types of bulb used in households as the US phases out bulbs which can't meet certain environmental standards.  "New U.S. regulations, starting January 1, cap energy consumption of a roughly 1,600-lumen bulb (equivalent to a standard 100-watt incandescent bulb) at 72 watts—which means the workhorse of home lighting will have to become about 30 percent more efficient overnight."


Thu, 23/06/2011 - 5:33pm -- sam

Hydroelectricity is the most significant household and business energy source for Christchurch. Hydroelectric plants operate where suitable waterways are available; many of the best of these sites have already been developed. Generating electricity using water has several advantages. The major advantage is that water is a source of cheap power. In addition, because there is no fuel combustion, there is little air pollution in comparison with fossil fuel plants and limited thermal pollution compared with nuclear plants. Like other energy sources, the use of water for generation has limitations, including environmental impacts caused by damming rivers and streams, which affects the habitats of the local plant, fish, and animal life.

February Earthquake and changes to energy use

Tue, 17/07/2012 - 5:24pm -- sam

Christchurch energy use continues to show ongoing changes associated with the 22 February 2011 earthquake, according to the CAfE Energy Database results for the first full year of Christchurch energy monitoring. The quake sequence led to increased contractor activity and a decline in central city electricity use. These trends are still evident in energy use figures.

The data for March 2011 to March 2012, showed a decline of 2.2% overall in energy use with annual use of diesel up 6.5%, and electricity and petrol down by 6.9% and 3.8% respectively.

Orion reports one year on

Thu, 15/09/2011 - 7:52pm -- sam

Energy line company Orion has thanked Christchurch for the last year and noted the success of restoration and repair work in a newsletter.  Orion notes that there have been 700 electricity sector workers from 40 companies working to restore electricity during earthquake recovery efforts.

Great leap forward for electric cars from China?

Wed, 12/10/2011 - 3:33pm -- sam

A dilemma facing modern nations is how to make the painful transition from fossil fuel propulsion to other forms of energy for transport.  While developed nations consider their options management researchers Hua Wang and Chris Kimble of Euromed Management École de Marseille writing in the International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management, suggest emerging economies such as China may have a headstart.  

EECA updates appliance energy use

Tue, 14/08/2012 - 5:17pm -- sam

EECA has updated their home appliance and electronics running cost calculator to make it even easier to find out how much different products cost to run. The tool is smartphone-friendly, so if you're in-store and looking for new whiteware, TVs or heat pumps, the running cost calculator will be on hand to help you work out how much each appliance will cost per year to run. 
An easy slide list of appliances make the calculations easy.  The images of whiteware, heat pumps and televisions have two labels that can help you choose the most energy efficient product that meets your needs.

The energy rating label has a simple star rating - the more stars on the label, the more energy efficient the appliance. It also has an annual energy consumption figure in kilowatt hours (kWh) which can be used to compare similar sized models.