New Zealand city plans to save energy by capitalizing night skies

The New Zealand city of Dunedin plans to save energy in a simple way: stargazing.

Dunedin is poised to take advantage of economic opportunities around energy use and efficiency. The draft Plan is an action under Dunedin’s Economic Development Strategy and has the commitment of the five Strategy partners.

“There’s already a real buzz about the draft Energy Plan’s Night Sky City action. That’s about using the revolution in LED lighting technology to create world-class stargazing locations around the city, as well as creating attractive night time streetscapes. That could include lighting up particular areas of the city if there’s an event. The revolutionary part is that we can do that and save our energy dollars at the same time.” Grow Dunedin Partnership Chair Chris Staynes says.

LED lighting technology is creating a lot of change in the way we light our outdoor spaces. This will save money and reveal Dunedin’s spectacular night skies – another tourist attraction for the city.

“Many businesses and households are spending about 10% of their income on energy, and that’s a handbrake on our economic growth. We’ve got some really innovative businesses and groups here that are primed to help businesses and households through the maze of energy choices and technology, such as what outdoor lighting would be best.” he continues.

A public discussion evening will be held at the Otago Museum from 5.30pm to 7pm on Wednesday, 7 October. One highlight will be Museum Director Dr Ian Griffin presenting one of his popular talks on Dunedin’s Night Sky City.

The Economic Development Strategy is governed by the Grow Dunedin Partnership. The key partners are the Dunedin City Council, Ngāi Tahu, the Otago Chamber of Commerce, the Otago Polytechnic, the Otago Southland Employers’ Association and the University of Otago.

There are two other actions under the draft Energy Plan. One is to work with local businesses to make every Dunedin home warm and cosy by 2025 – the Cosy Homes initiative.

The other is the Energy Fast Track action which is about helping energy start-ups and innovators to get off the ground.

Consultation on the draft Energy Plan 1.0 closes on Friday, 16 October. For more information and to make a submission visit or view the draft plan at the Customer Services Centre in the Civic Centre, or Dunedin Public Libraries and Services Centres.

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