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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
Electric Vehicles – Future or Fad?

True story. An employee took the flash new company Electric Vehicle (EV) up North on a sales trip. On the way home, they realised that the battery charge was running out so stopped in a small town to find a charging point. There was, inevitably, no charging station for electric vehicles so they rang the tow company and got a ride home alongside a towie with bad breath and even worse body odour. Back at work, the boss pointed out the switch that turned the hybrid vehicle back to petrol power.   My point? Electric Vehicles (EV’s) are still a bit of a mystery both to their users and to the people making the financial decisions. Add to this the element of uncertainty of buying a car from a man who straps his second-hand sports cars to a space rocket and whose loss-making company can’t actually deliver a simple sedan on time and you must have to have reservations around updating your fleet from petrol to electric. Despite the uncertainty let’s examine the business case for electric vehicles. Business Case for Electric Vehicles At a recent presentation to energy sector leaders, Gary Holden, CEO at Pulse Energy and a well-known thought leader and innovator, proposed that it costs, all up, around $10 to travel 100kms in a car and that it has pretty much always done so. Simply put, it cost the same for a Model T in 1920 to travel 100km as it did for a Honda Accord to travel the same distance in 1990. The reason? Internal combustion engines are, and always have been, between 25% and 30% efficient. Any gains achieved through advances in technology are quickly swallowed up by faster travel – or slower if you are travelling on that great carpark known as the Auckland motorway network. Along come electric vehicles and a very simple idea. Capture the energy of braking and stuffing it into a battery and 30% efficiency suddenly rises to 80%, 3 times more efficient than a petrol engine. Cheap Electricity Provides Strategic Advantage Now add the New Zealand strategic advantage, cheap renewable hydropower, and the comparative cost of electricity to that of a barrel of oil, roughly US$40 on average for the last forty-five years, is now almost exactly half that at $20. “In other words,” says Gary “for oil to compete with electric it would have to permanently return to pre- 1973 prices.” Is it any wonder we are seeing major oil producers falling over themselves to drop the price of oil and investing in massively polluting extraction of shale oil and fracking in order to slow down the inevitable march of electric vehicles into the market? Barriers to Adoption of Electric Vehicles Disappearing So, what is stopping New Zealand’s companies from rapidly switching to electric vehicles, say by 2020? Not a heck of a lot according to Gary. He believes, and I agree, that by 2020 the premium we pay for electric cars will be a thing of the past. The high running cost, inefficiency and plain nasty polluting qualities of petrol vehicles will mean that electric vehicle leaseholders will see higher residual prices being offered at the end of their three-year term (2023) Combine that with the electric vehicles superior efficiency, low operating cost and ever-increasing range and companies should be looking very, very hard at their vehicle choices.   There is, however, more to this equation than a simple cost per kilometre and residual value. Our electricity market is complex, riven with contradictions and slow to respond to demand drivers like electric vehicles. Next month I will have a close look at the forces in the New Zealand market that will either hasten or slow electric vehicle uptake. This article is part 1 of a series in which I will explore the EV future over the coming months.

How to Unleash the Value of Sensors and Big Data

In the past couple of years, we have written a lot of commentary about how the world of IT and the world of Energy are converging. As more and more companies are choosing not to own and operate their IT, the role of IT departments is fast moving away from just technical support towards strategic thinking informed by data analysis. The same can be said for Energy as companies gain access to wireless energy monitoring via cloud-based analytics, CIO's and IT managers have equal interest as COO's and plant managers as the Internet of Things is rolled out. The convergence of data across all areas of a business is quickly growing and how this data is used to inform executive as well as operational level decision making and planning. In the last 12 months, Total Utilities has installed several hundred wireless energy sensors around New Zealand. Data from these energy sensors are being used across numerous areas from cost allocation, performance and product benchmarking, energy efficiency, sustainability reporting, preventative maintenance and tenant rebilling. The following article was written by Jon Rabinowitz and underlines the need for cross-section planning and acceptance to ensure IoT success. Total Utilities can help your business through this planning process to ensure that key stakeholders are part of your IoT journey. The most effective way to derive value from sensor technology and big data is to ensure you can analyze and act on the information gathered. When sensors are deployed as data capture/communication instruments and paired with best-in-class Big Data analytics, the result is the life breath of value-driven Internet of Things technology. Unfortunately, more often than not, IoT systems are rolled out without proper planning, and simply so some manager can check a box and say that he or she undertook an IoT initiative. When organizations are driven by hype, that value-generating substance generally falls by the wayside. Too often this is the case with IoT projects pursued for their buzz-worthiness, without due attention paid to the smart sensor and Big Data nuts and bolts of the thing. Indeed, IoT for IoT's sake can only get you so far. Ganesh Ramamoorthy, a principal research analyst at Gartner, told The Economic Times that "8 out of 10 IoT projects fail even before they're launched." If we're to believe that figure, it begs the question, what are companies doing wrong? Why Companies Fail In Putting Sensors and Big Data to Work Compelled by topical hype, there's often a sense of urgency associated with IoT projects. According to Mark Lochmann, a senior consultant at Qittitut Consulting, that self-imposed urgency gets the best of organizations. In an interview with IndustryWeek, Lochmann explains that many enterprises "dive headfirst" into Internet of Things projects without really understanding how the technology affects their operations. Too often decision-makers get themselves drunk on buzz and embark on technology rollouts, without really understanding what needs to happen and how that tech needs to tie back into business operations in order to derive value. They simply neglected to consider how installing hundreds, possibly thousands of sensors across their business is supposed to portend an improved bottom line. To avoid missteps, be sure to consider the following practical factors: Where the sensors will process the data (point of creation, edge devices, in the Cloud, etc.) Which tools analysts need to visualize and interpret data. How the company will validate and cleanse sensor information.  The data governance policies which will protect data. The infrastructure necessary to support analysis (data warehousing, data mart, extract transport load servers, etc.). Lacking wherewithal on these basic project components, research from PricewaterhouseCoopers and Iron Mountain reveals that only 4% of enterprises "extract full value" from the data they own. However, it's not just planning that's holding companies back either. The same study found that an additional 36% of businesses were hamstrung – regardless of how thoroughly they'd thought through the project – due to system and resource limitations. That paints a rather bleak picture, but there's no reason to despair. The above statistics notwithstanding, there remains plenty that conscientious managers can do to ensure the success and of their integrated sensor and Big Data initiatives. Start With Specific Use Cases, Then Dig Deeper Many organizations don't know how sensors and big data will impact their data centres. Managers leading sensor and Big Data projects need to outline specific use cases before even thinking about implementation. A smart manager will have a firm handle on how such technology is likely to impact operations on a day-to-day level – not based on intuition or imagination but on data. Better yet, that manager will set very specific expectations, delivery processes and timelines for what he or she wants to achieve on the back of sensor and big data technology. For example, let's say you want to install advanced wireless sensors in your facility. The person leading the project should explicate his or her intention to leverage collected data in order to: Diagnose problems with equipment to predict failures. Analyze the production efficiency of each asset. Determine how many tons of material you process on an hourly basis. Monitor worker health and locations across the facility.  Of course, not all data is equal and the lion's share of that discrepancy will depend on the data type. Data pertaining to equipment functionality, it should be understood, is among the most important and time-sensitive. Such data should be processed immediately given that it can tell the story, in real time, of costly malfunctions. Some of your data will demand review in real-time, some every half hour and some every other month. Most will find itself living between those poles. Regardless of the data type though, you'll need to be sure that when you consult it, it conveys something that is actually meaningful and actionable. For this, you'll need to plan out and gain relative mastery over your processing system. This means carefully choosing an analytics solution or a combination of complementary solutions. It may also mean hiring an in-house data scientist or simply bringing in outside help for training purposes. In some cases, it will even mean building out an on-site information network. In every case, it will mean instilling a data- and value-driven culture, where employees not only have access to tools but know when and how to properly use them. Remember, there's no such thing as too much research and that hype can be as dangerous as it is enticing. Bearing that in mind, the world of IoT is big and wide and waiting for you!

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.

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