Call for Southland firms to back energy efficiency competition

Invercargill lawyer Sean Woodward.
Invercargill lawyer Sean Woodward.

Southland businesses and organisations involved in energy projects are being encouraged to enter a national competition.

The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority launched a search for the country's top energy efficiency and renewable energy projects last month but so far had received no entries from Southland.

EECA marketing services manager Vicki Connor said entries for the biennial awards closed on February 10 but most entries usually came in during the last few days.

"We would love to see any Southland organisations with great energy efficiency or renewable energy projects to come forward."

EECA chief executive Mike Underhill said the awards were open to organisations operating in a range of areas and sectors - public or private - who had a successful energy efficiency or renewable energy project.

There were many ingenious and innovative people who were boosting business success, improving the environment, and helping communities thrive through energy efficiency or renewables, he said.

In 2010, Invercargill-based McCallums Group was commended in the SME category for their shift to wood energy to supply steam and hot water to their commercial laundry facilities in Southland, Central Otago and Dunedin.

The project offsets about 1450 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year, ash from the boiler is used as fertiliser and waste water is recycled to control emissions.

Southland Chamber of Commerce president Sean Woodward said it would be disappointing if Southland businesses did not enter because he was aware of some great energy projects going on in the region.

At a previous meeting board members from South Port, Fonterra and an engineering business had all shown interest.

The chamber would send out a reminder to all members, he said.

Venture Southland enterprise and strategic projects group manager Steve Canny said there were notable businesses and authorities who did excellent work in terms of energy efficiency.

Venture were working with prospective candidates who would be worthy recipients, he said.

The 10 award categories include: Transport, large business, small to medium business, public sector, renewable energy, innovation, community, energy management, energy leadership and Christchurch energy champion.

The winner will be announced in Auckland on May 28.

The Southland Times