About the Government Waihōpai / Invercargill Decarbonisation Contestable Fund

Accelerating the commercial decarbonisation of fossil-fuelled space and water heating systems for Southland

The purpose of the Government Waihōpai / Invercargill Decarbonisation Contestable Fund is to accelerate the decarbonisation of commercial fossil-fuelled space and water heating systems in the Invercargill City area, and to contribute to the COVID-19 recovery by stimulating the domestic economy and supporting employment.

Commercial boiler fuel transition for Southland

The New Zealand Government has committed to reducing its net greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030. Process heat contributes around a third of New Zealand’s overall energy use, with 60% coming from fossil fuels.

Commercial boiler fuel transition was a key mitigation pathway identified in the Net Zero Southland report commissioned by Great South, and is key to ensure Southland’s goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050 is realised.

Net Zero Southland Report

Objectives of the Contestable Fund

  • Decarbonise existing commercial fossil-fueled heating systems in the Invercargill City boundary area.
  • Stimulate the domestic economy and support local employment.
  • Ensure economic resilience for the region through decarbonisation and the avoided cost of carbon.
  • Contribute to Southland’s commitment of achieving net zero emissions by 2050.

Projects eligible for funding

The fossil-fuelled heating system replacement must be a low-emission heating system such as:

  • Conversion to dried wood chip or wood pellet;
  • Conversion to electricity;
  • Installation of a new wood chip, wood pellet or electric boiler; or
  • Electrical heating via heat pump system
  • Solar thermal energy use, such as solar photovoltaic (PV)

Projects must be within the commercial sector. Warehouses, retail shops, hotels, office buildings are all eligible for funding.

Projects not eligible for funding

Projects focusing on the following areas are not eligible for contestable funding:

  • residential or industrial buildings and campuses
  • transport initiatives including decarbonisation of off road vehicles, and marine vessels
  • waste minimisation
  • electricity generation
  • reducing agricultural emissions or embodied carbon
  • research and development, and the implementation of technologies that are not commercially available.

The following types of organisations are not eligible for the fund:

  • State and public sector organisations
  • Local Government organisations including both Local and Regional Authorities and
  • Council Controlled Organisations (CCOs)

The proposed project must be New Zealand based, but can use overseas suppliers if necessary.

If you have a query about whether your project is eligible for co-funding, get in touch with the Great South contestable fund point of contact Lee Atkinson. Details below.

Lee Atkinson
Lee Atkinson
Senior Technical Delivery Lead

Apply for the Contestable Fund

Learn more about the application process, including key dates and documents.


Let's be GREAT together

Sign-up to our mailing list and stay updated with our work in Business, Tourism, Sustainability and Events.