In early 2018, Hutt City Council started to refocus its sustainability efforts onto climate change, with a key initial focus on understanding the carbon emission, particularly regarding its facilities such as pools and libraries.
Council had used Carbon EMS’s e-Bench® system for a number of years but made little use of the energy and carbon data to target improvements. The system was mainly used to help Council’s finance team simplify the invoicing and payment process in relation to all their Individual Connection Points (ICPs) for electricity and gas.
As part of a project to compile Council’s organisational carbon footprint, Council’s Manager of Sustainability and Resilience, Jörn Scherzer, approached Robb Morison and Pat Wall from Carbon EMS for assistance in order to utilise the rich data collected via e-Bench®.
Hutt City Council uses e-Bench® to measure and target energy efficiency gains and carbon emission reductions
Jörn had just joined Council and was not yet familiar with e-Bench®, and time was of the essence in light of pressing deadlines. Robb and Pat worked with Jörn to put together a high-level report on climate change and council emissions, and customise e-Bench®’s reports, given that the system was set-up previously with different goals and ways of looking at assets.
Robb Morison set up the asset and meter groups in a way that would help Jörn extract the data required for compiling Council’s first carbon footprint, which later led to the establishment of Council’s net zero carbon by 2050 target. In addition, the data was used to help compile energy audits on all of Council’s six public swimming pools.
Notably, those audits highlighted the gains that could be made for both cost savings and carbon reductions. A key initiative immediately implemented was the installation of pool covers at its McKenzie summer pool, realising estimated savings of about 200,000 kWh per year as well as 50 tonnes of CO2 per year. Furthermore, the installation of variable speed drives (VSDs) on pool pumps and programming night setback modes at Stokes Valley and Huia pools will bring additional savings.
Jörn says that “thanks to the way the e-Bench® service works, the data streams and meter groups that were set up for greenhouse gas reports now allow for regular monitoring of progress toward Council’s carbon as well as cost saving goals.”
During late 2019, Council used e-Bench® to produce its first “Energy and Carbon Reduction Policy and Plan 2020-2024” in order to drive continuous improvements on its journey to net zero. The plan targets a reduction in carbon emissions of 30% by 2024, and Jörn says that “e-Bench® will enable Council to monitor progress against this intermediate target”.