Find out what we are doing to make sure Council operates sustainably, how we measure our progress and read about some of our successes.
Christchurch City Council is recognised, both in New Zealand and overseas, as a local authority committed to sustainable operations. We can all be proud of what our city has achieved in recent years and our commitment to our 'clean and green' future.
We are the only non-European member of Energy Cities (external link) and the first local authority to adopt a comprehensive energy action plan in New Zealand.
Our vision for Christchurch is that our energy supplies come from renewable sources and the city’s energy systems are affordable, efficient and secure, ensuring long term sustainability and net zero impact on climate, local environment and public health.
A vital part of the sustainability journey is measuring our progress to better manage our impacts and to celebrate our successes. Rather than having a separate sustainability report, the Council will include sustainability indicators:
The Council is proud that it has kept the costs of energy (in dollars per household) at the same level as they were in 1992. Great initiatives and NZ-leading projects, including using biogas from landfill, have reduced power use and power costs.
Our commitment to energy efficiency and innovations have won widespread recognition; our goal is to exercise leadership in energy efficiency.
We've replaced the traditional fuel (mineral or diesel oil) for many of our boilers with cooking oil, mainly from fast food shops. Benefits were:
We have introduced bikes to our vehicle fleet. These are great for short journeys and take away the problem of parking at your destination. The benefits of the project include:
Switching off appliances like computers and monitors at night and at weekends is a great way to make significant cost savings. Council could save enough to supply electricity to a medium-sized household for at least six months simply be shutting down computers and monitors when they are not needed.
In partnership with nearby businesses, Council is recycling heat that is a waste product at one site and using it as energy for heating at another. Facilities like the Graham Cordon Recreation Centre are heated by tapping into excess heat that nearby business are needing to get rid of, in this case the refrigeration units at the neighbouring Northlands shopping centre. The heat is transferred from the source location using a closed-loop water system.
In Christchurch we have over 240 intersections with sets of traffic lights. Each set of lights has, on average, 34 bulbs, with at least half of these bulbs being on at any one time. That is over 4000 light bulbs that we have turned on, all the time. The traditional incandescent bulbs were 67 watts. These were replaced with 35 watt quartz halogen bulbs. This reduced our power consumption by 48%. As our traffic lights need replacing, we are moving to LED fittings, with 5 watt bulbs. This will reduce our original power consumption by 93%. LED bulbs have a longer life so the cost of maintaining our traffic lights will also reduce.
The ground remains at a relatively constant temperature all year round and this temperature can be used as a heat or cooling source. Ground source heat pumps are well suited to applications where large amounts of energy are required to heat water and/or air such as in swimming pools and recreation centres. We have installed them in the following locations:
The benefits of this approach include:
A wind turbine at Gebbies Pass is used to generate power for the Council offices in Hereford Street. The benefits from this project include:
Council hopes that by leading by example and insulating it's residential units, that other landlords in the city will take similar action:
Our tenants have seen improvements:
Council has installed solar hot water panels in some of the elderly persons flats it owns. These provide at least half of the hot water needed by the residents each year. This is over $400 in savings on their power bills.
We did some pretty smart things with water when we developed the South Library facility.