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South Auckland suburbs welcome solar technology with robot sprint

By   /  March 14, 2017  /  Comments Off on South Auckland suburbs welcome solar technology with robot sprint

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MIL OSI – Source: Auckland Council – Release/Statement

Headline: South Auckland suburbs welcome solar technology with robot sprint

Entrust, Auckland Mayor Phil Goff and Vector are taking energy efficient solutions, including solar and battery technology, into the homes and schools of south Auckland suburbs Papakura and Takanini to help lower electricity bills and improve the health of homes.

Launched today at Edmund Hillary School in Papakura with a solar-powered robot race, the Energy Efficient Communities Project, a partnership between Entrust, Auckland Council and Vector, will deliver free hot water heat control units, up to 15,000 LED lightbulbs, and energy advice to homeowners in Papakura and Takanini.

Twelve local organisations, including schools and community facilities, will also receive a Tesla Powerwall that stores the sun’s energy and delivers clean, reliable electricity when the sun isn’t shining. The provision of energy efficient technology will be complemented by an education programme in local schools which promotes simple actions that families can take to reduce energy bills.

The Energy Efficient Communities Project is being run as a trial and it forms part of a multi-year, multi-million dollar partnership between the organisations to promote sustainable and renewable energy in Auckland including solar and battery technology.

Entrust, Vector’s majority shareholder, is leading and funding the project. Chairman William Cairns says the project will improve energy affordability, reliability and choice for Aucklanders.

“The benefits of these energy solutions are well-known at a government and commercial level. It’s important we drive these benefits a community level, where it matters most,” says Mr Cairns.

Auckland’s Mayor Phil Goff says the EECP can make a real and practical difference for Aucklanders as the city builds a more sustainable energy network.

“Energy efficiency is good for the community and good for our city. It means more affordable electricity bills, healthier homes and less impact on our environment.

“We need to make our housing stock more efficient and healthier and it’s partnerships like this that seriously boost our efforts placing the latest solar and battery technology in the hands of our communities. It provides the up-front capital to help home owners install energy efficient technology,” says Mr Goff.

Mr Goff said that the partnership has set a goal in Papakura and Takanini to have 1500 homes sign up for a free home health check with bookings available by contacting the EECP team at www.homehealthcheck.co.nz or by calling 09 8902299. If the trial is successful, council will look to roll out the approach to other communities in Auckland over the next several years.

Edmund Hillary School principal Kataraina Nock welcomed the installation of the solar and battery system, and believes the simple actions education programme to reduce energy bills will be incredibly beneficial for local families.

“Students take home what they learn at school, and with this project the energy efficiency message is not just about a sustainable city, it’s a conversation about the real and tangible actions families can take to lower household expenditure on electricity and the importance of a healthy home,” says Ms Nock.

Vector CEO Simon Mackenzie added, “This project will give us practical insight into the impact energy saving measures have on power bills, carbon emissions and Auckland’s network. We’re already seeing the benefits of solar and battery technology with some earlier installs and we’re keen to see that replicated.”

Mayor Phil Goff, Entrust Trustees, Vector’s Chair Michael Stiassny and Principal Nock competed against each other in the race today, led by students and their solar robot projects.

Practical savings

Indicative savings a year for an average household with practical energy saving solutions: $238.16 using 10 LEDs, $420 using the iSmart hot water heat control, and $406.15 by converting their existing showerhead to a low-flow showerhead.

Vector’s solar and battery system installed at a family home in May last year has provided enough solar power to meet 63 per cetnt of their total energy needs, while exporting 12 per cent back to the grid. This has saved more than 1,500kg in CO2 emissions which is like planting the equivalent of 5 trees.

People using the systems have access to a platform with up to date information on their energy usage, including how much they are using from system or the grid, and how much CO2 they are saving.

Watch: Launch video footage

Online: www.homehealthcheck.co.nz

Photos: Bryan Lowe

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