How Smart Power helped Auckland Transport drive down emissions.

Client: Auckland Transport (AT).

Timeframe: Ongoing.

AT is the council-controlled organisation of Auckland Council responsible for all the region’s transport services (excluding state highways), from roads and footpaths to cycling, parking and public transport.

Service Provided. 

Comprehensive energy management over 1,500 separate power connections across the Auckland region transport network, plus reporting of operational energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for the corporate activities, assets, facilities and public transport services that AT owns.

Benefits Realised. 

The key driver here is a major commitment to emissions reduction from New Zealand’s largest region. 

To be specific, Auckland Council has committed to a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions across the region by 2030. Transport has a big role to play in achieving this ambitious target, as more than 40% of Auckland’s emissions are associated with transport. 

As a major energy user and public transport provider within the Council’s portfolio, AT has committed to reducing its operational emissions by 50% in the same timeframe. Electricity is currently the predominant (>80%) energy input of Auckland Transport’s operational emissions. 

Using Smart Power data to manage energy usage and report operational emissions has helped Auckland Transport achieve its 50% operational emissions reduction target by 2023 – seven years ahead of schedule.

How Smart Power helped Auckland Transport drive down emissions. 

Smart Power provides AT with precise data on every unit of power consumed across the organisation. This is delivered via eSmart – the unique Smart Power reporting tool that consolidates all AT’s consumption data and emissions reporting. 

The eSmart data is then uploaded to the e-manage system of Toitū Envirocare, an independent organisation that provides rigorous, ongoing GHG emissions audits to organisations that are committed to sustainability. This provides the transparency and assurance that AT and its governance team at Auckland Council require as public sector organisations.

Manoj Pokrel, Senior Energy and Carbon Advisor at Auckland Transport, says Smart Power is essential to his role in driving down energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions:

“With Smart Power, we can track the emissions profile of every connection in our network. The eSmart tool, along with half hour frequency energy monitoring of large facilities, shows if usage and emissions are spiking at a particular time of day, so we can alert the respective business units and operations staff to take action.

“You can only manage what you measure – and Smart Power provides the data we need to take effective action on energy and emissions.”

Turning complexity into accountability.

Reporting carbon emissions in an organisation as large as AT is not as simple as reading a few meters. So Manoj and his team have worked with Smart Power to ensure all relevant data is captured – including fuel consumption in its corporate fleet.

In practice, this has meant customising the eSmart tool to include a range of emissions statistics over and above electricity consumption. In partnership with Smart Power, Manoj and his team have created a consolidated dashboard of emissions inventory that captures all carbon emissions, and is updated quarterly.

The combination of quarterly carbon tracking and an auditable emissions profile has given Auckland Transport the tools it needs to achieve its target of a 50% reduction.

Service that empowers.

Manoj says an ongoing partnership needs a high level of service and understanding about the transportation network and services – which he enjoys with Smart Power.

“The most important thing is service. Whenever I reach out to Smart Power, they are quick to respond. They are very supportive. They try to help AT, even when there’s something that’s out of scope.”

Knowing the essential role auditing plays, Smart Power provides on-call assistance with 3rd party audits (Toitū, Audit NZ) at no or very low cost. Smart Power is also constantly working with AT to keep track of its fast-growing portfolio, as new rail stations, bus stops, street lights and traffic management systems are added.

Smart Power has also used its in-depth knowledge of energy markets to deliver expert input when Auckland Transport investigated sustainable energy procurement.

It’s about creating certainty within one of the most critical long-term mandates any organisation can have – drastically shrinking its carbon footprint.