Funding available for green employers

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Employers that are looking to be more environmentally friendly could be eligible for financial help after one government agency announced a new round of funding for businesses.

“We are looking to support technology that is innovative, under-utilised or has not been applied in the New Zealand environment,” said Dinesh Chand, project manager at the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA).

The EECA provides support towards the cost of energy saving or renewable energy technology that is yet to be widely adopted in New Zealand – to qualify for funding under the agency’s Technology Demonstration Programme, projects must reduce energy intensity or greenhouse gas emissions, must be applicable to multiple businesses in a sector, must be financially viable and must have a reasonable payback period.

“Applicants must also commit to having their project independently monitored and to promoting the project and the outcomes from it,” said Chand.

Funding for both capital and showcasing the technology can cover up to 40 per cent of the project costs to a maximum of $100,000.

Chand said the ability for other businesses to replicate the project would also be important so that energy savings can go beyond the innovator.

“The support is provided to help share the risk for the early adopter,” he explained. “There is a national advantage if energy-saving technology is successful and if others take it up.”

A standout project from the previous funding round was Ports of Auckland Ltd (POAL), which received funding to install LED floodlighting, the first New Zealand port to do so.

“We can’t wait to demonstrate the effectiveness of LED floodlighting at our port,” said CEO Tony Gibson, who has set the goal of POAL becoming New Zealand’s most sustainable port. “This is a very exciting project and it really is just the start of what we hope to achieve through new technology.”

Businesses or organisations wishing to apply for funding to develop a demonstration project can do so either through a technology supplier registered with EECA or by completing and returning the technology demonstration application form available on the EECA Business website.

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