Sustainability News

The reduction and management of greenhouse gas emissions forms a key part of WEL's Sustainability Programme. As part of this programme, we've implemented a number of measures and initiatives at WEL Networks to ensure we do the right thing by our environment, our employees and our communities.

Delivering Efficiency with NZ's First EWP Truck

New Zealand’s first EWP electric truck has hit the road as part of WEL Networks’ fleet.

Converted from a diesel truck to a 132 kWh battery truck, the vehicle will be used for line maintenance and is powerful enough to operate an elevated work platform and travel 200km on a single charge.

Chief Executive Garth Dibley says sustainable energy and sustainable transport are front of mind for the business.

“We believe electric vehicles will play a really important part in New Zealand’s energy future and by investing in electric trucks, we’re not only generating fewer emissions, but also helping to future-proof our business and community.

“Throughout our operations, WEL strives to be an environmentally responsible organisation. This year we are launching structured sustainability initiatives to measure and respond to our environmental responsibilities and having more energy-efficient vehicles is a step in the right direction.”

Charging the Waikato

Working in partnership, two innovative Waikato businesses – Waitomo and WEL Networks - have installed the first rapid electric vehicle (EV) charger on a Waitomo Fuel Stop.

The EV charger joins WEL’s network of 25 that are located across the Waikato region. Compatible with any EV, WEL’s Rapid chargers are located on Maui Street, Caro Street, Waikato Innovation Park, Hampton Downs, Te Kauwhata and Raglan. Fast chargers are located at Waikato Countdown supermarkets.

Diverting Plastic From Landfill 

Reducing waste and its environmental impact are the main drivers behind WEL Networks and Gyro Plastics sustainable initiative to recycle network pillars that are no longer in service.

Furniture Donation WEL-Received

As part of WEL Networks’ head office furniture upgrade, all surplus furniture has been donated to Waikato charitable trusts and organisations to support the work they do in enabling our communities to thrive.

K’aute Pasifika Trust and The Waterboy are “overwhelmed” with generosity after receiving a large donation of office furniture.

Micro Grid Takes World Stage

The micro grid project, how WEL’s adapting to a changing environment and future plans for integrating new technology into the traditional network, formed part of WEL’s presentation to industry experts at the All Energy Exhibition and Conference in Australia.

There are four components to our micro grid – the traditional network supply, solar (from PV panels on the depot roof), a diesel generator and the battery energy storage system (BESS).

Industries, utilities and communities are looking for new ways to harness renewable power, bring electricity to remote areas and prepare for climate change. We believe the micro grid is one way forward.

Sustainable Energy Solutions

Trialling EV car chargers and solar panels in the car park as well as solar on the bike shed and chargers for our staff’s electric bikes are two of the sustainable projects that we’re currently implementing.

By installing a solar array in the carpark, we’re creating four ‘covered’ carparks. Four EV chargers will also be installed to allow staff to utilise the solar energy to charge their EVs during the work day. The bike shed will be a similar concept on a smaller scale.

By combining the two technologies, the aim of the trial is to enable us to reduce EV charging at peak evening times, and utilise extra generation from solar at the time it’s produced.

Reducing Electricity Use

With expected power savings of up to 65% on each light fitting, LED lighting has been installed as a replacement for incandescent, metal halide and fluorescent lights across the business as part of WEL’s commitment to reduce its electricity use.

The first phase of the LED lighting project has been completed with over 400 LED lights installed throughout Level 1 of WEL’s head office, the depot and the distribution centre.

The second phase of the project, which will see a further 114 LED lights installed throughout Level 2 of WEL’s head office, is expected to be completed later this year.

This project has been followed up with the placement of sensors in strategic positions to allow banks of lights to turn off when no-one is around.

We’re also considering the introduction of daylight harvesting in some areas of the business, this year.

Daylight harvesting systems use daylight to offset the amount of electric lighting needed to properly light a space, in order to reduce energy consumption. This is accomplished using lighting control systems that are able to dim or switch electric lighting in response to changing daylight availability.