We build firm and lasting relationships with our clients.

Our level of service and integrity cements these relationships for the long-term. Utility retailers respect us and the independent role we play in bringing business to them. We have a strong environmental conscience; the local community and the wider world are important to us. Our adaptability is key to our success now and in the future.

Case Studies: Innovative Solutions

Watercare House Case Study: Anchor tenant scores a NABERSNZ excellent rating for energy use

Watercare House Case Study: Anchor tenant scores a NABERSNZ excellent rating for energy use

Pushkar Kulkarni from Total Utilities completed the site review and NABERSNZ Assessment of Watercare House. Here he provides additional commentary to the original published case study, highlighting the specific benefits of a NABERSNZ tenancy rating. "A NABERSNZ tenancy rating is an ideal tool for tenants as it shows them how their day to day operations impact their energy performance. It can also determine how well they manage energy and identify the opportunities that may exist to improve energy performance. In an increasingly competitive market place and businesses look for a point of difference by delivering on their corporate and social responsibility, and think about long term business sustainability, tools like NABERSNZ are a good demonstration of their willingness to "walk the talk". It reflects where they are now with respect to others and what benefits they can get by improving their NABERSNZ rating. I definitely feel that ratings will become increasingly important in New Zealand. Equipment directly impacting the tenancy rating of Watercare are: lighting, computers, and client specific plug load etc. They are limited to what they can do with the lighting connections and zoning due to way in which these were originally designed. This has had an impact on the rating. If a NABERSNZ rating was a factor that developers and contractors were informed of during the design/build stage, then there is good chance that the lighting connections and zoning may have been designed differently. In my opinion the occupancy density, clever use of all areas, and using lighting controls are the main factors that have resulted in a 4-Star NABERSNZ tenancy rating for Watercare. The rating demonstrates it's a very good start and platform for Watercare to understand where they are at compared to the wider market and examine strategies on how they can improve going forward."   Scoring a first-rate NABERSNZ 4-star tenancy rating for energy consumption at its office demonstrates an Auckland company’s commitment to the environment. Auckland water provider Watercare Services Limited is the anchor tenant in an eight-level office block constructed in bustling Newmarket in 2013. 73 Remuera Road is the first Green Star rated commercial property in the district and reflects the growing demand from corporate tenants for green principled, energy smart work spaces. Watercare occupies three of five office floors in the building. Key Facts 4-star ‘excellent’ NABERSNZ tenancy rating Energy use certified as 97.6 kWh/year/m2 NABERSNZ to be used at other sites Further energy upgrades continue Big Numbers 2013 – achieves a 5 Green Star Design rating 2015 – achieves a 5 Green Star Built rating 2016 – achieves a 4 star NABERSNZ tenancy rating Energy use certified as 97.6 kWh/year/m2 Total energy consumption 738,454 kWh/ year Building Profile Location:  73 Remuera Road, Newmarket, Auckland Owner: Viewmount Orchards Limited Anchor Tenant: Watercare Services Limited (approximately 300 employees on site on an ordinary day) Accolades: 5 Green Star Design (Achieved 2013) 5 Green Star Built (Achieved 2015) NZ Property Council Award – Commercial Office Property Best in Category Award 2015 NZ Property Council Award – Green Building Property Merit Award 2015 The Anchor Tenant Watercare is an Auckland Council owned organisation (CCO) providing water and wastewater services to Auckland and its environs. It is committed to the sustainable management of natural resources and energy saving operations. The Auckland Council has two additional NABERSNZ rated premises – the Manukau Civic Building (3 star whole building, 2014) and Orewa Service Centre (3.5 star whole building 2016). watercare.co.nz The Building/Facilities Manager FM Concepts Limited is an Auckland-based commercial property management firm which focuses on medium to large high rise buildings and offers a full range of services including onsite operational management, property consultancy, contract management, health and safety systems and cost management. It has a strong interest in the sustainability of the built environment and energy efficiency. Two commercial buildings in its portfolio are currently undergoing NABERSNZ ratings. fmconcepts.co.nz Key Sustainable Features Located within easy walking distance of train and bus networks - encourages sustainable transport options for occupants High-tech building controls and management system with real time monitoring Energy efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning system (HVAC). Double glazed façade LED lighting Well-designed waste collection and recycling area End of trip facilities – gym, cycle park and locker facilities This property is a brownfield redevelopment – its construction has improved an existing dilapidated area and makes a positive contribution to a sustainable Auckland. Why NABERSNZ? With water being its core business Watercare has the environment and energy issues at the top of its agenda. While its head office is housed in Green Star rated Watercare House the company’s sustainability manager Roseline Klein says the company wanted to understand its everyday energy performance across the three floors it occupies in the building. It was the missing ingredient. We wanted to know where we were at with our energy performance, how well we were doing and where we could improve. We’d heard about NABERSNZ so we did some research online. It’s a great tool, it provides a benchmark and it drives best practice.” – Watercare Services Limited Sustainability Manager Roseline Klein NABERSNZ in Action Watercare Services Limited sustainability manager Roseline Klein says undertaking a NABERSNZ rating over its 7563 square metres of office space has proved to be “a painless process”. The meterage required for a rating was already in place – 18 meters had been installed in the building during the construction period to aid fine-tuning of systems and utilities. The company took advantage of the free NABERSNZ feasibility assessment which determines a building’s readiness to get started with a rating. “It made a big difference for us and took away the humdrum business of counting 644 computers and documenting the configuration of staff plus it set a timetable, provided a checklist and saved us time,” says Roseline. NABERSNZ assessor Pushkar Kulkarni from Total Utilities says lighting, computers and occupant specific plug load have the biggest impact on a tenancy rating. He says clever configuration of work spaces, occupancy density and sensory lighting controls have resulted in Watercare’s superb 4 star result. The Value of NABERSNZ Watercare says it wants to model water and energy efficiency and its 4-star NABERSNZ tenancy rating shows its credentials. Sustainability manager Roseline Klein says the rating has been “a great experience” and has pushed the company to look hard at its resources and ensure they are better used. “It’s spearheaded change. For example we’re now trying to ensure our procurement process is not always about cost but energy efficiency too. We’ve recently retrofitted our gym with water efficient shower heads which use nine litres per minute compared with 12 – they offer a better shower experience and use less water and energy,” she says. Roseline believes if a NABERSNZ rating was compulsory it would encourage energy awareness and help tackle climate change. “For example Aucklanders are the lowest users of water because it is charged volumetrically so whether you are sustainably-minded or not your invoice reminds you not to waste, to think of water efficiency. A mandatory energy performance rating would have the same effect for landlords and tenants.” In Australia a NABERS rating is compulsory for commercial offices over 1,000 square metres while a range of mandatory energy performance ratings exist in Europe. NABERSNZ assessor Pushkar Kulkarni says as Kiwi businesses increasingly look to deliver on corporate and social responsibility and think about long-term business sustainability a NABERSNZ rating demonstrates a willingness to ‘walk the talk’. “The NABERSNZ tool is set to become increasingly important in New Zealand.” A NABERSNZ rating demonstrates a willingness to ‘walk the talk’ – NABERSNZ Assessor Pushkar Kulkarni

Ongoing Insights with Cloud Analytics: Zespri Case Study

Ongoing Insights with Cloud Analytics: Zespri Case Study

In 2013, Zespri, one of the world’s leading horticultural companies, and the recognised category leader in kiwifruit, was facing many significant challenges. The Psa virus which attacked their main gold kiwifruit crop, had the potential to devastate the company and its grower shareholders. In addition, they were facing significant capital outlays associated with their existing ICT systems and the need to upgrade their computer hardware. Zespri had to ask questions like, "Could the new variety of crop, Sun Gold, be more robust and become another bestseller?", or, "Would our outputs dramatically reduce?" At the same time, Zespri’s Board were concerned about identifying and mitigating the risks of a natural disaster like the tsunami in Japan or the earthquakes in Christchurch. Their data centres were located in Mount Maunganui and backup services in Tauranga. They wanted to understand the impact these types of events could have on their onsite server and storage infrastructure. Measured Baseline Informs Strategy Undertaking the initial analysis of Zespri’s current position, we established a baseline ICT cost. This baseline was used as a benchmark to inform financial decision-making and monitor ongoing expenditure. With assistance from the team at Total Utilities, Zespri evaluated its ICT data centres and infrastructure services and platforms. The objective was to determine whether they could manage the range of potential outcomes that they faced. These systems would have to be flexible enough to adapt to both the best case and the worst-case scenarios. Zespri sought Total Utilities' independent advice to identify and assess out how they could best respond to these risks and opportunities. They ultimately saw the need to inform vital decisions around how they consumed computer services with a scalable and cost-effective model that was aligned with their overall financial and business strategy. Undertaking the initial analysis of Zespri’s current position, we established a baseline ICT cost. This baseline was used as a benchmark to inform financial decision-making and monitor ongoing expenditure. Using this measure, we demonstrated to the CIO and CFO and subsequently their executive and board, significant savings could be made by moving to a monthly subscription model based on public cloud services. In the future increases above the baseline, increased spending in ICT, would be indicative of Zespri’s growth. The baseline is a very useful comparative tool, both for supporting financial decisions and controlling monthly spend. After conducting a thorough analysis of the needs and opportunities available to Zespri, we provided the quantitative data that underpinned the business case presented to their board. Total Utilities subsequently supported Zespri through our independent Request for Proposal process to choose a candidate for the migration to, supply and support of a comprehensive cloud-based infrastructure running over the Microsoft Azure Platform. Moving ICT operations to Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing platform has many advantages including access to data from anywhere and at any time, an IT environment that is quick and easy to replicate as new offices open and new services become available, and it can effectively respond to the increased competitiveness that occurs when other global players enter the market. In addition, moving to Azure mitigated the risk of natural disasters crippling the closely located physical data centres. Ongoing Insights and Cloud Analytics Our commitment to providing Zespri with a dynamic and meaningful experience meant that our relationship continued past the selection phase. With our expertise in financial analytics we continue to provide them with forever evolving insights. Steve Wichman, Zespri’s Procurement and Commercial Manager, outlines how Zespri is moving into an ICT maturity phase. With this the board is always looking for ways to optimise their systems. The regular technical and financial input from Total Utilities is very useful in this regard, Steve describes us as a sounding board and an independent voice. Zespri utilise the Total Utilities cloud management service based on our analytics, reporting capability and the Cloudyn tool. Providing these reports and monthly insights we can help ensure that expenditure is aligned, appropriate, and adaptable to Zespri’s financial strategy. We also help them manage and mitigate the risks associated with an OPEX approach, bill shock, by providing them with real-time alerts of consumption. Steve states that these reports provide insights on how Zespri can best optimise their systems, analyse exceptions, and determine how they can improve their current and future operating state while reducing overall expenditure. Customer-Centric and Flexible Reporting The board is always looking for ways to optimise their systems. The regular technical and financial input from Total Utilities is very useful in this regard. The dynamic nature of our service to Zespri means that, as well as providing clear and understandable reports, our analytics extend to creating what-if scenarios. For example, we can analyse what might happen if Zespri consolidated or expanded some of its ICT services. This approach means we can project future cost savings or increases accurately. Total Utilities insights, financial analysis and recommendations have become more meaningful as more data is gathered and more avenues explored. We can now calculate ICT costs on a “per service” basis. This allows Zespri to identify the true cost of financial, operations, marketing or any other system that requires ICT resources. Our benchmarking and cash projection approach extends to three-yearly reviews of the business case. These reviews are vital to ensure that the case remains relevant to Zespri’s situation and consistent with the parameters set by the board. Regular reviews, along with ongoing monthly, quarterly and annual reporting, are at the heart of Zespri’s ongoing drive to extract the maximum, identified and projected value available from the Microsoft Azure platform of services. Understanding Key Business Drivers to Leverage Competitiveness Other ICT consulting companies might focus on the technology or hardware, we take a financial analytics approach that sees ICT as a consumable and adjustable utility. This means consumption and costs are transparent, flexible and optimised. We believe ICT should be financially appropriate for a company, aligned with their goals, and be able to adapt to real-world factors. We do all this by establishing a baseline of costs, creating a detailed business value analysis in support of a business case and then deliver regular monitoring. This approach informs understanding of the company’s consumption, costs and benefit realisation from their Azure based ICT systems. This is the multi-faceted and valuable service that we continue to provide to Zespri. Finally, would Steve at Zespri recommend us to other companies? A resounding yes. Our strong and dependable relationship, the way we deliver on a job both in quality and in timeliness, and our independent and trusted advice, is hard to find elsewhere.

Achieving Client Success

Emmy Seccombe
Te Uru
Paul Laing
Red Stag Timber
Haydn Randall
St Bede's College
Power Factor: Dark Arts and Wizardry?

I joined the energy industry 11 years ago this week, the time has flown by and a lot has changed since 2007. Technology has been the driving force and is currently revolutionising the energy market. While the fundamental mechanics remain similar, the way in which pricing is determined for end users (customer) has evolved rapidly and the future only suggests more change with Solar and other distributed generation becoming more cost-effective, battery storage, electric vehicles, blockchain peer to peer energy trading through to the potential of multiple retailers supplying energy to a single ICP connection. The Mysterious Case of the Power Factor Power Factor remains somewhat like a dark art in the industry, it’s a small charge often hidden on one line of your power bill, there is no graphical data on the bill that tells you about it and it often sneaks past the accounts payable or finance team as they just see the whole invoice cost and when it is due. Energy Retailers typically know very little about it if questioned, the common line is that “it’s a pass-through charge that we don’t control, you need to talk to your network.” Which is usually met with, “you need to talk to your energy retailer” from the network. For the basics on power factor, my article What is Power Factor is recommended reading. Power Factor Pricing Some distribution companies (local area electricity network owners), mostly in the North Island, have been charging large commercial and industrial customers reactive energy charges for some time. These networks have typically centred around the central North Island, Hawkes Bay, Bay of Plenty, Waikato and Auckland. While the networks do apply this charge differently, typically it averages out to be $7 per reactive kilo-volt amp per month ($7/kVAr/mth). In addition to this, some networks charge a peak kVA demand charge as well and if power factor is low during peak demand intervals customers are hit with a double whammy as a poor power factor inflates the kVA reading. In the last couple of years, there has been quite a bit of discussion within the market from distribution companies about the way in which they price and how they will maintain large network infrastructure in a distributed generation environment. For the most part, the bulk of all electricity customers pay a cents per kWh charge to distribution companies as a way for them to recoup the cost of maintaining the network. This pricing structure is simple, which meets the requirements of residential and small business customers as it is easy to invoice and easy to understand. However, this way of charging was designed before smart metering, before the digital revolution even. The smart meter rollout across the country is by and large complete, which opens the door to time of use pricing in order to try and drive better usage behaviour from customers. Benefits of Demand-Based Pricing While time of use capacity and demand-based pricing has been a staple of some distribution companies for large commercial and industrial customers, it is likely that we will see this type of pricing extend to medium and small commercial customers in the future. This type of charging will assist the network operators to ensure the security of supply as more customers install solar panels and batteries throughout the grid, reducing the amount of volume (and revenue generated from variable usage charges) being transmitted throughout local area electricity networks. We are already seeing this happen as PowerCo Western (New Plymouth) has introduced a nominal power factor charge for small/medium time of use metered customers in the last couple of years. This mirrors the way in which Vector (Auckland) re-introduced power factor charging in 2010, pricing was gradually increased over a period of 3 years allowing time for customers to see the power factor charges appearing on their invoices and make steps to rectify the issue. WEL Networks (Hamilton) recently introduced nominated capacity charges for low voltage customers where customers are required to set their expected capacity requirements, like the gas industry’s maximum daily quantity, if the customer demand exceeds the nominated capacity then expensive excess demand charges apply. WEL also recently changed from charging peak kW demand to peak kVA demand, further underlining to customers that they need to keep tabs on their power factor or face paying more on the monthly power bill than they need to. Power Factor Doesn't Have to be Mysterious In large measure, power factor is a relatively simple fix if you know who to talk to about it. It can be one of those easy savings made without having to change behaviours, train staff or make a structural change to the way in which you do business. There are other benefits too, such as increasing the effectiveness of energy requirements and negating the need to upgrade supply if you are short on capacity. It can also improve the lifespan of sensitive computer-controlled equipment and improve harmonics. While it can seem like a bit of wizardry is required to rectify power factor issues, those in the know don’t need a magic wand, it’s pure science.

IT Security for New Zealand Businesses – The threat within

Data protection is the process of safeguarding important information from corruption, compromise or loss. Many of us will have watched with some concern the ongoing reports of hacking, ransomware (where a hacker locks or encrypts your company data and demands a ransom before releasing it) and data theft by outside agencies. IT Security Threats Pose New Risks for Owners and Directors As owners and Directors of businesses in this country, we cannot ignore the real risks presented to our companies by theft or destruction of company data. Stricter laws governing Director’s responsibility make risk management and mitigation very personal. Henri Elliot, Founder and CEO of Board Dynamics commented to me recently, “It is essential Directors take a strong position on all forms of risk. Risk should be on the Board’s agenda each month and should be appropriately categorised. For example – is a staff member taking a list of clients a company policy issue? An HR issue? An IT security issue? In truth, it is all of the above and Directors need to take a holistic approach.” Security Risks Are Mainly Internal The scary thing when we consider the risks around IT is that it is not the sneaky Russians or the depraved teenage geeks who represent the real threat to most businesses. In fact, it’s often quiet Jane from Finance or good old reliable Mac from Sales who represent the real and present danger. If you think I am being a bit dramatic (and my wife would agree with you) think again. Here are a few things that should give you food for thought. Nearly two-thirds of employees surveyed, who leave an organisation voluntarily or involuntarily, say they take sensitive data with them. That is a real wake-up call when you consider that your staff will almost inevitably have access to sales and customer records, design secrets and new product plans. Nine out of ten Information Technology (IT) staff surveyed indicated that if they lost their jobs whether through redundancy or by firing would take sensitive company data with them. Techies are extra smart, often socially inept and prone to impulsive behaviour when stressed. Just because Jason the geek is a bit dishevelled in the morning doesn’t mean he is not capable of revenge served cold. So how does Jane, Mac or Jason walk out the door with your most valuable secrets? In truth, they probably don’t. Your worst enemy is email. Over a quarter of data, thefts have been as simple as attaching a file to an email and sending it home or to a friend. Next on the IT security threat list for most small to medium businesses is that convenient friend, the USB stick. In many cases, these data downloads start quite innocently with your trusted person downloading files, so they can work from home.  It’s only when they are preparing to leave that the true value of the customer list they downloaded becomes clear. I can dwell on ways you can lose your company data, but in truth, this only serves to make you overly fearful. Instead, let’s look at a couple of the signals that your data may be at risk. Signals Your Data Might Be at Risk  Negative Work Events Laying off or firing staff, whatever the reason should be a signal that your data is at risk. A huge proportion of internal IT security failures come from a desire for revenge. If you are planning to terminate a staff member it is important that you monitor that person’s behaviour. A surge in large data files being downloaded or emails to an unusual address should be a huge red flag. Complacency In many cases, data security failures are just a case of staff members, managers, or owners who just don’t get it. Data is valuable only if you see it that way. The signals of complacency are often clear. You should be troubled by people violating simple IT security policies like keeping passwords protected. It is the company who will pay and the staff who end up with their jobs at risk if you ignore the knowingly irresponsible behaviour. Next month I will run through the key things you can do to reduce the risk of insider security threats without treating your much-loved people as if they are criminals.  

New Branding and New Services

Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings. Drawing is the honesty of the art. Salvador Dali Today Total Utilities announces its new branding. Over the last 18 years we have worked hard to assist companies in controlling consumption and cost. It's an exciting day for us and we are proud to share this with you. From today you'll see a change in the way we look, including our new ribbon logo. The spherical shape represents the whole as we take a 360 degree approach to understanding our clients and their utility requirements, whether it be Energy, Waste and ICT or Insights, Strategy and Solutions. What doesn't change is our desire to create a sustainable future for New Zealand businesses and how they manage their utilities by continuing to deliver ongoing value for our clients. We continue to work hard to provide new services to assist our clients such as Energy Monitoring and Targeting through wireless non-intrusive energy senors, Cloud Computing Analytics for consumption of computer services and qualitative and quantitative reporting aligned to overall financial strategy. Total Utiltities About Us Presentation We remain committed to delivering a personalised service and assisting our clients navigate a rapidly evolving commercial market place by underpinning strategic thinking. I would like to thank our existing clients for your continued loyalty and confidence in our company. To prospective clients, I hope that you will partner with us to discover real world solutions for sustainable utility consumption and cost optimisation.

Strategies and Solutions already found for

How can we help?

Contact us