The Energise Otaki vision is huge, involving action across many areas. It is about reducing electricity consumption, reducing reliance on fossil fuels, giving people choices about what energy they consume and how they purchase it, how it is generated and how they can reduce their overall energy use. It involves local clean energy generation. On the way, the town will reduce its contribution to long-term human-induced climate change.
Energise Otaki is advanced through community involvement in projects, large and small. The idea is not owned by any one group but relies on individuals, businesses and organisations becoming involved.
What we want to achieve on the way.
- All Ōtaki households, organisations and businesses take action in some way to conserve and produce energy
- Average residential energy use per capita declines year on year.
- Local clean energy production increases year on year.
- Emissions of greenhouse gas emissions from energy use in Ōtaki declines year on year
- No-one is living in energy poverty in Ōtaki.
- Jobs in energy conservation and clean energy generation are created in Otaki.
- Otaki is internationally recognised as a town where research on energy conservation action and local scale clean energy production can be advanced in partnership with the community.
- People have fun on the way to achieving the vision.
Recognising Energy Poverty
Energy poverty is the phrase used to describe households who cannot afford to fund a basic level of heating sufficient to maintain the health of their members. When low income is coupled with the New Zealand’s poorly insulated housing, there are very real problems. The Otaki community has a relatively large number of low income households and a large older housing stock. It would be easy to ignore this problem and simply focus on energy use reduction. The Energise Otaki vision recognises that in taking action, for example, to insulate houses, poorer households may actually increase their energy use as they have more disposable income to spend on basic energy needs. The idea of essential energy use sufficient to maintain health is a fundamental part of the Energise Otaki vision.
At the the end of each year a brief report on what has been achieved in terms of clean energy generation and energy conservation will be reported on the site. The focus during 2014 will be to identify the best metrics to be used and presenting a first stage report by the end of the year. The ‘Greenchip Report’ provides an estimate of energy use in Otaki in 2012.
Summary of Initiatives
A summary of initiatives can be viewed here. energise otaki initiatives 2 More information can be found under focus areas and projects.