A revolving fund enables Auckland to invest money flowing from municipal energy-saving projects into additional energy efficiency improvements.

The Challenge

Without intervention, Auckland’s greenhouse gas emissions could increase by 46% by 2025 and energy use by 65% by 2040. Moreover, the city spends nearly 5% of its gross regional product on energy. Through the revolving fund mechanism, Auckland is curbing its energy use and demonstrating that significant savings and efficiencies can be gained while minimizing costs for taxpayers.

The Solution

Auckland is using a revolving fund to finance energy efficiency upgrades in city-owned or managed buildings. The fund was first granted $700,000 in 2013 to invest in innovation and improvements of public-owned buildings; the savings achieved by the gains in efficiency have been reinvested in additional projects. To date, the retrofit of the Auckland Council Headquarters led to a 39% decrease in energy use and annual savings of $377,000. Additionally, the city’s outfitting of 40,000 streetlights with LEDs, and the addition of a tele-management system, will result in a total net savings of $30 million over 20 years. As the Council has 1,816 buildings under its jurisdiction, Auckland has a wide scope to scale up improvements and achieve important savings via the revolving fund. In addition to addressing the climate-proofing needs of city-owned buildings, the project demonstrates the viability of energy efficiency investments and can act as a guide for building owners and the entire building industry across New Zealand.

Environmental Benefits – The headquarters of Auckland’s Council has achieved a 25% reduction in water use through installation of intelligent delivery systems included in its retrofit program.

Economic Benefits – A staff satisfaction survey in the retrofitted Council headquarters found that, within the first year of occupancy, personal productivity was up 8%.

Health Benefits – Thirty to 65% of night-time accidents can be attributed to the quality of white versus yellow light and their respective impacts on reaction time. The Council hopes to improve road safety with the adoption of LED streetlights, thanks to this fund.

About Cities100

In its second year, Cities100 – presented by C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40), Sustainia and Realdania – showcases leading solutions to urban climate challenges in ten sectors, ranging from solid waste management to transportation. For the first time, this year’s publication features solutions that address the nexus of climate change and social equity.

Available online and in print, Cities100 provides stakeholders an accessible format to explore achievable solutions for climate action in cities, and will be a useful tool for relevant groups ranging from impact investors and development organizations, to mayors and city governments.  You can access the full Cities100 2016 publication online here and read more about how may­ors will de­liver the aims of the Paris Agree­ment in a fore­ward by Anne Hidalgo, C40 Chair and Mayor of Paris, here.

  • Economic
  • Environmental
  • Health
Key Impact
5 GWh decrease in energy use by municipal buildings will be financed by the revolving fund over three years
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