Solar Power in schools is the way of the future

By Tema Hemi
  • Wellington

Solar power is becoming more frequent in NZ schools. Wellington's Maungaraki Primary School have knocked back power consumption by nearly 70 per cent, cutting around $5000 from its electricity bill since then. 

The combination of sunlight and school hours make schools the perfect candidates for solar power. It allows schools to save on the electricity bill and focus those savings in different areas.  and Green party spokesperson Energy and Resources Gareth Hughes says that solar energy is the way of the future for NZ schools and the Greens are pushing government to drive this initiative. 

Hughes says, "The Government has made a policy decision that any savings on power bills from the schools producing their own clean power from the sun, they get to keep. Schools have been able to save money and spend it on the kids, on books, or musical instruments, or sports gear. I think families would rather see schools spend their scarce money on the kids rather than pay power companies bigger power bills. Schools are doing their own thing. Genesis previously had a school 'Solar Gen Scheme' which is rolling out panels. It's part of the Green Party's 'Confidence and Supply' agreement with the Government so its something we're actively working on."

Dual deputy principal of Maungaraki Primary School Darian Schulz says, "Firstly its just good to off set some of the cost involved in powering the school effectively its equivalent to running two households and that's really good for a school."

Caro Willis also says, "We have a fortnightly program where children will go out and have little projects to do as far as enviro projects but there's a lot of learning to go around how to be sustainable. I think they're become more aware of the importance of it to." 

The Green Party plans to request the incoming Climate Commission to transition to 100 percent renewable electricity by 2035.