“The Energy Shop scheme is a great opportunity for retailers to enhance their environmental credentials while reducing energy costs,” according to EECA commercial programme manager Karen Chaney.
Under the scheme around 200 retailers will get EECA Business funding towards energy assessments and developing energy management plans.
The programme will target 50 small, 100 medium and 50 large retail sites. Depending on the size of their energy spend, those sites that achieve a 10% energy saving will benefit by between $600 and $76,000 a year.
Ms Chaney says the NZRA is ideally placed to deliver the programme because it understands the commercial realities of all types of retail.
“Our retail sector has more than 33,000 outlets and is very diverse, ranging from the corner dairy to mega-malls. But regardless of size or merchandise, every retailer who improves energy efficiency will reduce overheads, making their business more resilient.
“The retail sector makes up a large part of our domestic economy and is a significant employer. By supporting the retail sector to be more productive through energy efficiency, this scheme also supports the wider economy.”
She says although the target group was relatively small, results would be shared through benchmarking reports and case studies, to help guide other retailers.
A key aspect of the programme is that it doesn’t just target in-store fittings and technology, but aims to educate retail management and staff about good energy use.
NZRA chief executive John Albertson says retailers are facing rising costs of rent, energy, transport and waste, which put pressure on businesses’ margins.
“The beauty of saving energy is that not only does it reduce costs and help business performance, but it also gives retailers the chance to demonstrate their environmental credentials.
“Retail is an extremely diverse sector, so our approach will be tailored according to each company’s specific needs. We understand that retail is a demanding business, and many managers are just too busy to look at energy use. This gives them the step-by-step assistance they need.”
Energy Shop will be run as part of the NZRA’s existing Enviro Shop scheme. Around 70 retailers throughout New Zealand are already signed up for Enviro Shop, which also focuses on transport, waste and water. Retailers gain a sustainability accreditation after completing the programme.
Retailers who want to take part should contact the NZRA’s Enviro Shop programme by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phoning 0800 472 472.
For further information contact Mike Eng, EECA Business, on 04 470 2223 or 027 223 0177.