$1.29m for ‘clean energy’ project

21 Jul, 2020
Clean Energy

AUT is set to receive $1.29 million from the latest round of funding from the Government’s New Zealand Upgrade Programme. The programme aims to create a clean-powered public service and boost the regions.

AUT’s grant will go towards upgrading the heating and air conditioning system in WB and WC Buildings as well as installing more energy efficient lighting.

Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced new projects worth $12.693m that will receive Government funding on July 15. Alongside AUT, the University of Canterbury, the NZ Defence Force, DHBs and Inland Revenue will all also receive funding for clean energy projects.

AUT’s City Campus WB Building is heritage listed and is fitted with old hot water radiators, some of which can no longer be turned off due to rusted control valves. Inefficient central gas fired boilers are in operation and WB has been ad hoc air conditioned in parts over the years with individual AC units, many of which are at the end of their life.

The project the Estates Team will embark on with this funding will see the installation of:

  • A centralised new air conditioning system which will see most of the individual AC units removed along with all heating hot water systems.
  • New LED lighting and a lighting control upgrade to replace incandescent and florescent lighting in both WB and WC buildings.
  • Installation of a new main switchboard with a Building Management System (BMS) that will allow us to control HVAC and lighting and measure energy usage in the building.
  • New heat pumps for hot water for kitchens and gym in WB and WC buildings.
  • High efficiency package hot water heat pump units to replace electric hot water cylinders in WB.

Team Leader of Energy Conservation in the Estates Team, Warren Smith, says the energy saving resulting from this $3.2m project will be at least 10% in the first year with a potential further 10% in the second year and beyond with some fine tuning to the new equipment after installation.


Energy Consumption
(kilo Watt hours)

Energy Intensity
(per square metre of gross floor area)



121kWh/sqm GFA

Year 1
(after project completion)

890,000 kWh

109kWh/sqm GFA

Year 2
(after project completion)


98kWh/sqm GFA

*Using EECA building tuning methodology and implementing additional low cost energy saving initiatives

AUT’s project will result in an estimated total carbon reduction of 44 tonnes per year.

“The Government funding has enabled us to get this much needed project underway,” says Smith. “We’d like to start the work in September and have it completed before the start of Semester 1 2021.”

The projects announced in this latest round of Government funding will reduce carbon emissions by an estimated 14,730 tonnes annually. That’s the equivalent of taking more than 6000 petrol vehicles off the road.

Read the Government's full announcement

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