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Climate change: our greatest challenge, but also our greatest opportunity

As one of the largest electricity suppliers in New Zealand, we believe New Zealand can harness its natural advantages and turn one of the world’s greatest challenges (climate change) into New Zealand’s greatest opportunity.


With an abundance of renewable energy resources, New Zealand is uniquely placed to move to a low emissions economy. This privileged position provides significant opportunities for New Zealand, including the ability to use these resources to decarbonise transport and business, for example, through electric vehicles and the conversion of manufacturing processes from fossil fuels to low carbon energy.


2018 New Zealand Climate Change and Business Conference

We are proud to be a premium sponsor at the upcoming Australia – New Zealand Climate Change and Business Conference in Auckland on 9-10 October.

This year we have three of Contact’s key leaders featuring on panels: James Kilty, Chief Generation & Development Officer, will be on the panel for New Business: Innovating for Climate; Louise Tong, Head of Capital Markets and Tax, will be on the panel for Green Bonds: Favouring Sustainability; and Kaapua Smith, Head of Sustainability, will be on the panel for Defining the Path: Setting Science Based Targets & the SDGs. The conference will focus on the implications of the new government’s climate change policy. As a company, we are committed to sustainability and doing what we can to help New Zealand transition to a low carbon economy. We’re looking forward to meeting like-minded leaders, and sustainability and renewable energy experts to see what the future holds. Read more about the conference.

Electric vehicles (EVs)

 At Contact, we’re committed to having at least 30% of our company fleet plug-in electric by 2019. We have already exceeded this target and are pushing on for 100% of our fleet to be plug-in (provided a suitable plug-in alternative vehicle is available in the market).
To read more about why EVs are the way of the future and to learn more about how Contact is supporting the uptake of EVs, please click here.

Are you a Contact commercial customer keen to trial one of our electric vehicles? Call us on 0800 271 271 to arrange a free trial.

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If you're already generating your own power using solar photovoltaics, we can pay you for any excess power you generate and top you up from the national grid if you get low. To learn more about our offer, please click here.

Solar and battery trials

Contact has created a ‘virtual power plant’ as part of an innovative solar and battery technology resiliency trial designed in partnership with Wellington Electricity and Orion. 

Contact has worked with a group of customers in Wellington and Christchurch to install solar and battery systems in those customers’ homes, providing back-up electricity in a power outage. Connecting these systems to Contact’s ‘virtual power plant’ also enables Contact’s customers to better manage their household electricity usage, saving money, and to provide support to the wider electricity system, making our electricity system more efficient.

Customers can also view and manage their energy use in real time via an app on their mobile phones. In the future, we hope the technology could be used to give customers the choice of sharing stored energy between homes.

Contact is now working on demand flexibility solutions for commercial customers. Details of these solutions will be published on this page as soon as they are available.


Geothermal direct heat

Contact operates in partnership with its customers to supply them with renewable geothermal process heat, directly from the geothermal resources around Taupō. Contact’s use of the geothermal resource for direct heat rather than for electricity generation is providing real value for energy-intensive industry in the Taupō region.  

For example, Contact supplies the Tenon wood processing plant in Taupō with direct geothermal heat for kiln drying timber and for heating Tenon’s manufacturing operations. Using geothermal fuel enables Tenon to avoid burning more carbon intensive gas to run its operations.

Contact also provides geothermal heat to the Huka Prawn Park aquaculture and tourism venture that grows Malaysian river prawns for consumption in the venture’s restaurant.

If you’re interested in exploring whether geothermal direct heat might be right for you, call us on 0800 271 271.


Green borrowing programme

Contact recently launched a first for a New Zealand corporate: a green borrowing programme enabling green investment funds globally to invest in Contact. To read more about this, please click here.

Contact in the media

 Take a look at what we’ve been saying about climate change and decarbonisation:

NZ needs a climate change plan

Chief Executive Dennis Barnes summarises Contact's submission to the New Zealand Productivity Commission's inquiry on the Low Carbon Economy in a short video here.


Contact's response to the Productivity Commission

View Contact's response to the Productivity Commission's low emissions economy consultation here.

Sustainable Generation

Catherine Thompson, Contact Energy's General Manager, External Relations and General Counsel talks about sustainable generation.
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Smarter Energy

Matt Bolton, Head of Customer Engagement talks about smarter energy and the ongoing solar and battery trial by Contact Energy and Wellington Electricity.
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