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Backpackers embrace solar energy

3 June 2008

Backpackers in world heritage area embrace solar energy

In recognition of World Environmental Day Sola60 - New Zealand's solar heating specialists - and National Park Backpackers have combined forces to keep international travellers in hot water during their stay using the sun's renewable energy.

Mike Patchings, Commercial Operations for Sola60 said: "We were very excited to take up the challenge of integrating the National Park Backpackers old hot water system with our state of the art solar hot water panels to meet the busy backpacker's heating demands".

A solar hot water heating system can provide homes and businesses with 50% to 75% of their annual hot water needs. For the National Park Backpackers this allows them to save money on their energy costs every month and also reduce their carbon footprint, which is a popular development for the backpacking business situated in the pristine world heritage area of Tongariro National Park.

Thomas Whitehead, Owner of the National Park Backpackers said: "The panels located on the north face of the building are a strong eco feature that are seen by passing motorists and visitors alike. Our international visitors are very impressed with our solar heating system and support the fact they are staying in an environmentally friendly accommodation".

Every Sola60 hot water heating system installed reduces New Zealand's dependence on non-renewable energy sources by using the sun's energy. It is calculated that each home system saves around 1.4 tonnes of CO² emissions annually.

Solar heating systems can be installed in new and existing homes and businesses and Sola60 welcomes the challenge.

Mr Patching said: "An existing old Marshall wood burner with a diesel burner backup installed at the National Park Backpackers provided a real technical challenge to over come, but we got there in the end".

With the varying technology understood and integrated, a price was agreed and the job was completed within a 14 day period by Sola60, delivering real eco friendly benefits and long term cost savings for National Park Backpackers.


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