In 2012 Kapiti Coast District Council commissioned a study on energy use in Otaki, along with a snapshot of available and emerging technology paths from technology experts Greenchip. The report found that
- Greater Ōtaki uses approximately 161 gigawatt-hours per year – as much energy as running 6,000 bar heaters non-stop.
- only one quarter of this energy is electricity.
- petrol and diesel combined had the biggest share at 55% of the total.
- petrol and diesel were the least efficiently used, with only 14% of their total energy being turned into useful power.
- 0verall, Ōtaki is only 37% efficient in terms of energy being turned into useful power or heat. This shows a huge potential for improving energy efficiency.
- Ōtaki produces some of its own renewable energy – firewood, sourced mainly locally. This makes up 6.5%. All other energy comes from outside Greater Ōtaki.
Greenchip identified energy saving solutions, such as home insulation, better heating, cutting down on car use and LED lighting as some of the best ways to reduce energy demand in Ōtaki.
The study highlights some exciting technology developments from around the world, such as giant funnels that direct the wind into compact, ground-level turbines and exotic processes for turning organic wastes into liquid fuels.
Council Energy Advisor Jake Roos says the study gives a road map for moving towards a future where local energy is a key component of a strong local economy.