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Emergency measures cut ChCh City Council electricity use by 20%

16 May 2003

Christchurch City Council is using about 13 per cent less electricity as a result of emergency measures and could increase its savings to above 20% if the city cut down on the amount of water it uses.

CCC, already a leader in energy conservation, has brought in emergency measures to contribute to the national effort to use less electricity. All Council buildings are operating on lower lighting and staff are making an extra effort to switch off equipment when it is not in use.

As well, the city’s decorative outdoor lighting is not being used and switching times for street lighting have been adjusted to use less electricity. Several of the Council’s plants and pumping stations have also been switched to alternative energy sources.

“ Together, those measures have cut our demand for electricity by around 13%,” says Dr Leonid Itskovich, the City Council energy manager. “And if we can get this message across about saving water, we can get that up over 20%.”

The city water supply is an electricity-hungry service because every drop must be pumped to homes and businesses and the wastewater must be pumped away again, he says.

“ If everyone cut their water use by a fifth – 20 per cent – the Council’s electricity demand would fall by 10 per cent,” Dr Itskovich says. “People probably don’t connect cold water with electricity use, but it is a big user and it’s the case just about everywhere in New Zealand, not just Christchurch.

“ The potential savings will be different with each water system, but there’s no doubt it would have a positive effect if everyone cut back,” he says.


  • CCC is an acknowledged leader in energy conservation. In the last seven years its energy management efforts have accumulated savings of 27%.
  • In 2002 it was awarded the Energy Efficiency Conservation Authority’s (EECA) Supreme Energy Wise award and its Sustained Achievement award.
  • CCC offers information to businesses about energy saving through its Target Zero team and provides free independent advice to homeowners through its Energy Efficiency Show Home at 10 Leander Street in Papanui (11am to 6pm every day except Wednesdays).

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