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.
The data for the ‘earthquake impact’ (February to February) period which should not be confused with the March to March year data above, shows that during that period Christchurch energy consumption declined in the city by 4%, compared to pre-earthquake energy use. Diesel use was up 6.5% while electricity and petrol were down 9.2% and 5.8% respectively.
Merv Altments, acting CAfE CEO, says “the earthquakes have affected energy use but it is too early to know whether any changes are permanent. Given the likely timeframe of the recovery the trend is likely to stay with us to stay for some time yet. When we launched the Energy Database we said use was likely to return to pre-earthquakes levels of energy consumption gradually, and the figures support this. We’re still not clear what the final mix of energy use will be but the Christchurch CBD deconstruction and rebuild and the impact of programmes in the next few years, including CAfE’s Energyfirst initiative, are expected to result in long term energy-use changes.
“For now the figures show a small decline in electricity and petrol use, and an increase in diesel use,” said Merv Altments. Overall energy consumption from 2008 to 2010 was relatively stable with seasonal variations. The new figures point to a lingering change to Christchurch energy use primarily as a result of earthquake displacement and rebuilding activities.
The database can be accessed here: http://www.cafe.gen.nz/db
CAfE was established by the Christchurch City Council, and is supported by Energy and Efficiency and Conservation Authority, Environment Canterbury, Meridian Energy, Orion, and Solid Energy (Renewables Division).
The Christchurch Energy Database is available with data from January 2008 there are quarterly updates and data releases updated quarterly. The energy database has been developed for CAfE by Neo Leaf Global, a consultancy specialising in the energy and infrastructure sectors.