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EECA Awards 2014: Flower growers take top prize

A family-run flower-growing business in Christchurch that ditched coal in favour of renewable energy took out the top prize at the 2014 EECA Awards.

The biennial awards, held last night in Auckland, celebrate companies and organisations who’ve achieved energy savings above and beyond the call of duty.

K&L Nurseries, which has installed an advanced boiler to use the company’s own green waste to heat its greenhouses, won the SME Business Award and Supreme Award.

Sourced from Austria, the boiler is the first technology of its kind in New Zealand. It has helped K&L Nurseries cut energy costs by $100,000 a year, avoid about 3,500 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year and use 100 tonnes of green waste a year as fuel.

As a bonus, ash from the boiler can now be used as fertiliser – unlike the toxic coal ash from the previous system.

The company produces more than two million stems of cut flowers a year, supplying 70 per cent of the South Island’s gerberas and uses heat in its greenhouses year-round.

Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges said this year’s awards had received a record 150 entries, including for a special one-off category for organisations and businesses in Christchurch.

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