MEDIA RELEASES

Northland DHB to replicate Bay of Islands Hospital energy savings

A project to save energy at Northland District Health Board’s Bay of Islands hospital has been so successful it has been replicated at the DHB’s Dargaville hospital, and Kaitaia hospital will shortly follow suit.

The Kawakawa project, funded by the DHB, installed modern heat-pumps to replace a centralised boiler that provided hot water and heating. For the latter two projects, Northland DHB was able to access the Energy Efficiency Conservation Authority’s (EECA) crown loans programme targeting hospitals, universities and local body entities.

Like most DHBs, Northland wants to put most available money into clinical services. The Dargaville and Kaitaia projects would not have got off the ground without the crown loans programme which makes interest-free loans available to approved public sector agencies to encourage their uptake of energy savings.

“Northland DHB has made a commitment to reduce its carbon emissions by 15 percent in 2025. Aside from the clear financial benefits, replacing the boilers is part of the strategy to reduce our carbon footprint.  The EECA crown loan goes a long way in reducing the use of stationary diesel on its sites, and in turn significantly reduce our emissions,” general manager, finance, funding & commercial services Meng Cheong said.

EECA Business General Manager Greg Visser said public sector organisations can access the loans to invest in energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy technology, with savings used to repay the loans. The latest funding round, with up to $2 million available, closes on March 31. Information is available here.

EECA research shows that public sector organisations, just like any business, can save up to 20 percent of the energy they use through smarter energy use. That can have a big impact on energy bills. Other benefits, such as improved patient comfort and care through better lighting, heating and cooling, are typical for such projects.

Loans of over $700,000 have been approved on the Dargaville and Kaitaia projects which are targeted to project annual energy and maintenance savings of nearly $300,000.

Replacing Dargaville hospital’s old central boiler with heat pumps that provide individual sources of hot water and heating to separate buildings will allow the DHB to adjust to the considerable seasonal variations, manage buildings based on occupancy and take account of the fact that only one ward is open day and night.

“Each new system can operate individually, giving immediate energy savings,” said EECA’s Mr Visser.

Northland DHB has a track record of saving energy and money with EECA, which has supported it to put in efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems together with efficient lighting at its Whangarei hospital.

In the past five years, 38 public sector projects have received Crown loans, resulting in cumulative savings of over $9 million and carbon reductions of over 5,000 tonnes each year.



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