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2021 Cold Storage Conference – The Ulti Take


Cold Storage facilities in New Zealand will refrigerate well over 6 million tonnes of product per year – and that’s just for export!

So, how much do you think that will cost in electricity?

At the Cold Storage Association Conference in August, one of the biggest concerns and a ‘hot’ topic of the event was the rising cost of electricity. The reason? Electricity giants are blaming dry weather and a natural gas shortage for the havoc in the electricity market. For those companies looking to renew their fixed energy contracts, the outlook is grim. In fact, one of our own clients has had a 40% price increase to their energy cost – up to 1.4 million per year!

The consensus among the industry leaders – this problem is not going to go away. While we may have had a dry year, there is a longer term issue. New Zealand is simply not generating enough electricity to meet the demand. And the energy industry isn’t jumping to build more electricity generation plants as they have no certainty that they’ll be able to use it.

So, what can we do? At Ulti Group, we’ll help you to make significant energy efficiencies, reduce the amount of energy you are currently using and in turn, your energy spend. Ulti Rapid Doors and specialty freezer doors are designed specifically to minimise energy leaks and maintain core temperatures.

The question is – can you afford to keep doors and systems that are going to end up costing you a small fortune in electricity? If the answer is no – talk to us today.

My Post

The Conference:

Facts, figures, and rather frightening anecdotes of electricity prices soaring with new contracts coming into place was the stand-out topic for this year’s Cold Storage Conference. Coming together as an industry gives us the opportunity to discuss hot topics, trends, and to develop insights into the latest cold storage solutions in the market.

This year was no exception and in several ways, highlighted the urgent need for change in the industry.  Drastically improving temperature control is just one of the ways to help control those skyrocketing electricity contracts.

There was also plenty of discussion and demonstrations of some of the upcoming advancements in technologies to increase efficiencies and productivity for cold storage clients. Its important for us at Ulti Group to attend the annual cold storage conference and we certainly felt that our products and services are helping to keep our New Zealand customers ahead of cold storage trends

Cold storage facilities play a vital role in so many industries, resulting in the cold storage industry growing at a steady rate. Therefore, it is important for us at Ulti to understand how we can best regulate and control the temperature levels of your storage units.

With well over 6 million tonnes of product being housed in cold stores around the country, we need to be innovating constantly to ensure we are offering the latest and best solutions to our cold storage customers. This includes energy efficiency, sustainable materials, and being able to get to our customers for a service or breakdown as fast as possible to mitigate any product loss or irreparable damage.

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Main issue = Electricity Prices!

One of the main takeaways from the event that everyone wanted to talk about, revolved around electricity and how the cost of it is going up quite rapidly. While it is an issue for most of our customers, the solutions we offer at Ulti can significantly decrease the energy cost of an inefficient storage unit. We promise, the initial investment in a world-class cold-storage rapid door will more than repay itself in the long term. In fact, our Fastrax rapid freezer door can give you an annual savings of roughly $15k! Or better yet, our locally manufactured Ulti Flex could save you approx. $25k annually. Think of where that extra cash could go!

Why are electricity prices going up?

Low lake levels ( a dry year), gas supply constraints, these are the two main reasons for the electricity pricing hikes. Commercial consumers like our clients, are the ones bearing the brunt of astronomical increases, while residential customers are largely unaffected…for now. The consensus from the conference was that this issue is not going to go away, even if the lakes were replenished to over flowing. Despite energy consumption in the commercial market is the lowest since before 2014 with a yearly average consumption of 9,132 gigawatt hours in 2020 compared to 9,674 in 2019, the belief is that prices are still going to go up.

What can we do?

The only thing we can do is to fight back with being more energy efficient, put in place customised cold chain energy efficiency sol