Greener choices save money for Rotorua and Taupō hospitals


Greener options are leading to cost-savings for hospitals in Rotorua and Taupō.

A change in lightbulbs has already contributed to an annual saving of around $60,000 at Rotorua Hospital and there are plenty more to switch over.  

The change to LED lights at Rotorua Hospital is about 80 per cent complete. The remaining will be done in the next financial year.

Facilities manager at Rotorua and Taupō hospitals, Dave Gower-Rudman, said the lightbulbs were just one of a number of things the department had planned to make the hospital more energy efficient.

At Taupō Hospital a new geothermal bore has been dug alongside the current bore to entirely replace the need to fall back on coal-fired boilers should there be a geothermal pump failure or a cave in issue with the well casing.

The coal boilers with their tall chimneys will now be de-commissioned.

Mr Gower-Rudman said the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) had carbon reduction funding available to help organisations move away from fossil fuels to cleaner sources of energy.

Geothermal is entirely carbon free so the Lakes district has a unique opportunity to be ahead of the play.

“Taupō hot water and heating supplies not just the hospital but a nearby rest home and intermediate school, so the second bore gives us, and those we supply, some peace of mind as the new bore offers 100% redundancy.

“It’s a similar situation to Rotorua where we have four bores available to us.”

EECA contributed 40 per cent of the approximate $200,000 cost.

Other energy/carbon saving measures planned include the conversion of Rotorua Hospital gas boilers to electricity (less carbon and cheaper to run), greater use of Rotorua Hospital’s chilled water system for air conditioning, which will limit the need for multiple heat pumps. 

Mr Gower-Rudman also said the department planned to replace fleet cars from hybrids to full EVs.