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Christchurch Council first non-European to join energy smart association

18 April 2006

Christchurch City Council has been accepted as the only non-European member of Energie-Cites, a leading energy efficiency organisation based in Brussels.

Christchurch Mayor Garry Moore says the Council being invited to become a full member is a tribute to its efforts to drive energy savings and become more sustainable.

In recent years the City Council has been recognised nationally with a number of  awards for its innovative energy saving programmes and efficient buildings and its energy manager regularly advises other New Zealand local bodies about how they too can make savings for ratepayers.

Energie-Cités has 139 members from 21 European countries. Christchurch is the only non-European city appearing in its list of best-practice case studies, in its paper publications and on the website.

“Energie-Cités see Christchurch as an energy-wise city and the Christchurch City Council as the leader in energy management in the region, and the association is keen to learn from our experience,” Mr Moore says.

“Becoming a member of Energie-Cites is a bit like being the top team in the NZFC (New Zealand Football Championship) and being invited to play in the Champions League. It means you really get to find out how good you are and learn more about how good you can be,” he says.

European cities lead the world in promoting local sustainable energy policies and being an association member means Christchurch has access to a valuable source of expertise, workable and proven strategies and projects and case studies specific to local authorities.

A good example of the way the City Council reduces energy use and emissions is its use of heat pumps rather than boilers to heat pools using warmth from groundwater. In effect, it uses the ground’s stored heat. There are no emissions and it costs about a third of what it would to do the same job with a gas or diesel-fired boiler.

● The annual membership fee will be about $2900 (€1500), met from the energy management budget. A Council report on this topic is here 

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