Dr Sara WaltonWhat we’re doing

We are examining the energy efficiency behaviours of NZ firms, both within their business operations and their transport. We are also asking businesses about their interest in, and uptake of energy-efficient transport technologies, fuels and behaviours.

We are particularly interested in what barriers they face in becoming more efficient, and what they find easy to do, and if there are new effective business models and/or value creation methods.

What we’ve found out so far

Please see the report on SMEs and energy by clicking here.

Key findings include:

What is the current energy use in SMEs in New Zealand?

In terms of SME energy use participants in this survey indicated that:

  • Most of their energy spend was on electricity and petrol.
  • The main use for energy in their work place was for heating and cooling spaces which largely used electricity through heat pumps and plug-in heaters.
  • Almost three quarters of participants had company vehicles (the median number of cars is 2) the majority of which are small trucks or medium and large cars.

What are the (perceptions of) attitudes towards energy usage in SMEs?

A series of questions asked respondents attitudinal questions regarding energy and overall results showed that they do not feel strongly either way about the posed questions. Around half of participants think they know what to do and have made changes to save energy. Other key points include:

  • Most think that their energy and electricity bills are significant expenses.
  • Three quarters of participants think that our society needs to reduce energy consumption, but only around half of participants think that they and people they work with need to conserve energy.
  • This is probably explained by 50% of participants already having taken action to save energy.
  • But also 83% are interested in new opportunities to save or profit from energy.
  • The majority of participants (69%) indicated that their supply chain (customers and clients) were not concerned about their environmental commitment – however 31% of participants did think they were concerned.
  • Nearly half of participants responding thought that they cannot control how much electricity they use and
  • 50% responded that they would not consider changing the time of energy use in order to save money.

Overall, it would seem that respondents are finding energy as a significant expense; they are trying to do things to save energy and are interested in finding new opportunities to save energy, but do not feel pressure externally (other than cost) to change and are not feeling in control of how much energy they use nor how and when it is used.


Key groups emerging from the data – where do you see your own company?


sara's business diagram