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Published: 2001-08-03 00:00:00

Environment Waikato is looking hard to find ways to save electricity – but it already has many energy efficient features in its Hamilton offices.

In response to Energy Minister Pete Hodgson’s call for everyone to save 10 percent on electricity use as river levels drop and blackouts loom, the Regional Council is having discussions with its consultants, Opus International, to see if there’s anything else it can do to save power.

The Environment Waikato building was designed to be an innovator in efficient energy use and includes energy efficient lighting systems which operate on sensors and turn off when areas are unoccupied. Water for heating the building is a gas fired boiler and “domestic” water is partly solar heated.

Extensive use is made of natural lighting and ventilation, blinds, sunshades and insulation. Computers and office equipment have power save systems. Property Manager Terry McDonald says there is not a lot more the Council can do to save power at the Hamilton office while maintaining services, but staff have been reminded to turn computers off at night and to ensure that other electrical equipment is turned off when not needed.

The Council is implementing later start times for some less critical time-sensitive equipment, and investigating any other changes which could be made, without risking security or creating health or safety problems.

“There may be a few things minor adjustments which can be made, but we use a relatively small amount of electricity and there is not a lot more we can do to use less power.”