Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Wellington, New Zealand, challenges citizens to develop smart energy projects

Steve Rogerson
January 21, 2015
For the second year running, Wellington City Council in New Zealand has launched a Smart Energy Challenge in partnership with recruitment specialist Enspiral to develop and fund a variety of community-driven projects that make better use of energy.
The programme aims to bring together collaborative partners from across sectors including the youth-based climate change group Generation Zero, crowd-funding platform PledgeMe and financial advisory firm Deloitte.
“It’s great to see partner organisations from different parts of our community come together to address climate change,” said Wellington City councillor David Lee. “Only by fostering those connections are we able to have an impact.”
The programme will help successful applicants take their projects from idea to real life through a series of workshops, community events, mentoring and networking opportunities taking place in March this year. The projects will then launch individual public crowd-funding campaign. The council will match-fund the amount each project raises, capped at NZ$25,000 across all successful projects.
“The Smart Energy Challenge is a great example of a programme that can lead to something bigger,” said Chelsea Robinson, last year’s programme manager. “Not only did the Aro Solar team put panels on the roof of the Aro Valley Community Hall, but they’ve gone on to the Ideas for a Better New Zealand Live the Dream summer programme with their project.”
The challenge is an initiative funded by the council’s Smart Energy Capital Programme. Last year’s pilot project won the Renewables Innovation category at the 2014 Sustainable Business Network Awards.
Applications close on Sunday 15 February at midnight. The challenge is open for ideas and projects that benefit Wellington city and its residents and visitors.
“Cities must rise to the challenge of climate change,” said Wellington mayor Celia Wade-Brown. “The Wellington City Council encourages innovative citizen-led solutions.”