AUT strives to demonstrate leadership and excellence in energy transformation and has been implementing energy efficiency projects since 2009. Energy makes up nearly one quarter of our total carbon footprint – from transmission line losses, natural gas (used mainly to heat water), and electricity (used mainly for lighting, heating, cooling, lifts and escalators). AUT’s energy provider is Meridian Energy.
In 2020 around 15 GWh of electricity and 3 GWh of gas was used. This was down from around 19 GWh and 5 GWh respectively in 2019 and represents savings of around $800,000 and 467 tonnes of CO2e emissions. About 40% of the savings were due to the COVID-19 lockdowns while the remainder was due to operational and efficiency improvements.
Our target in the AUT Sustainability Roadmap is a 50% reduction in CO2e emissions associated with energy by 2025, with a baseline of 2018. We will:
Our initiatives to reduce energy consumption across campuses include making building upgrades, moving away from gas use, and installing smart metres where possible.
Lots of upgrades to buildings across AUT have led to significant energy savings already, and more projects are planned.
Gas fired boilers in WB/WC buildings at the City Campus are being replaced with heat pumps to transition away from gas, which produces more CO2e emissions per unit of energy than electricity.
Smart metres are being installed in buildings to record energy consumption, voltage, current and other information so that we can identify and reduce areas of high energy consumption.
We saw significant energy savings during 2020's COVID-19 lockdowns, partly due to the efficient way buildings were shut down. During the lockdowns we were able to identify equipment, lights and systems that could be turned off. We added buildings and separate rooms to system used for remotely controlling and monitoring mechanical and electrical equipment like air conditioning and lighting. The successful and effective shutdown methodology we discovered during lockdowns will continue to be used during the Christmas closedown.
Here are just some of the actions you can take to conserve energy: