18 Feb 2013

Energy savings targetted at food and textiles industries

6:32 am on 18 February 2013

High energy users, including food and textile processors are being targeted in campaigns to improve their energy management and reduce their costs.

The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority is working with a number of industries and individual companies.

Meat companies are the latest to tap into EECA's expertise, with Silver Fern Farms and ANZCO Foods both signing programmes to improve the way they use energy from power, coal and natural gas at processing plants.

Between them, they expect to reduce their energy costs by millions of dollars per year.

EECA business group manager Ian Niven said it's all about better energy management. He said the agency has looked at a number of different sectors where the energy use within the economy is the greatest.

Mr Niven said firms which are involved look at their energy use, work out what improvements they can make and then put energy management plans in place.

He said they reap the benefits over time in terms of the dollar savings.

Mr Niven said EECA is also looking at the textile industry, as well as working with large groups such as the Fletcher Building group which resulted in an agreement signed last year to put energy management practices across the entire group.

Mr Niven said reducing greenhouse gas emissions is also part of it.

He says a lot of the industries have significant use of oil and coal and EECA can encourage them to save money and emissions and this is becoming increasingly important to the companies and their international customers.

"So they'll want to be asking questions about their environmental credentials, if you like and New Zealand companies are becoming very aware of that and responding to it."

Mr Niven said the New Zealand economy could benefit by up to $2 billion a year through more efficient energy use.