Working with Local Government

Last updated: 9 September 2019

Councils are significant users of energy in their own right but, more importantly, they heavily influence their communities' uses of energy through planning, waste, transport and emissions control policies. Accordingly the Energywise Council Partnership between local government and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) was launched in 1999. The Partnership involved 21 of the country largest councils who are particularly active in energy management issues or see energy efficiency or renewable energy as an important area of focus within their community.

The purpose of the Partnership was to foster improved energy efficiency, energy conservation and greater supply of renewable energy consistent with the sustainable management of natural and physical resources. The local government partners committed to specific actions and cooperative endeavours with technical, marketing and advisory support from EECA.

EECA administers crown loans which assist councils with projects to assist energy efficiency and renewable energy. Another of the ways which EECA has been working with councils is through assisting the development of regional energy strategies, which involve local councils assessing and developing strategies for their local energy resources.

In another initiative in "working with local government", EECA has been promoting   "voluntary targeted rates" (VTR) whereby ratepayers can elect to pay-off an insulation and clean heating retrofit of their homes by adding the cost to their rates bill and paying it off over a certain period of time (often ten years).  This system provides an alternative method of payment for home insulation retrofits, compared with adding the cost to the mortgage or paying in cash themselves  -this has assisted the uptake of the Government home insulation and retrofit schemes. Under the new Warm Up New Zealand: Healthy Homes programme (which only covers low income insulation retrofits). VTR is promoted as an alternative to Warm Up New Zealand: Healthy Homes but we still continue to work with councils on VTR.As at October 2015, seven Councils offered voluntary targeted rates.