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DOC carbon footprint just got smaller

Hon Steve Chadwick
Minister of Conservation

28 August 2008 Media Release
DOC carbon footprint just got smaller

Conservation Minister Steve Chadwick today announced an energy-saving pilot programme that sees the Department of Conservation (DOC) installing solar water heating systems on sites throughout the country.

“Using solar energy to heat water will save DOC money as well as power – those savings will be freed to go into other important conservation work,” Steve Chadwick said.

“The first to be installed has been the Volunteer House at Rangitaiki in the Bay of Plenty, with 17 in all to be to be completed in DOC offices and houses this year.”

DOC is one of the six lead government agencies in the Carbon Neutral Public Service programme, and is committed to reducing its carbon footprint by 15 per cent by 2012. To meet this commitment it needs to reduce emissions in two key areas – transport and energy use.

"Achieving carbon neutrality will demonstrate nationally and internationally New Zealand's commitment to pulling its weight on climate change and creating a sustainable nation.

“Partnerships are key to DOC’s work, including meeting its carbon footprint reduction commitment. EECA (the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority) has been on board with this programme – giving important technical advice for the remote locations, as well as 50 per cent funding assistance for this initial pilot programme.”

“Five installations on islands will contribute to a 50 per cent reduction in fuel used by diesel generators, and another 12 on the mainland will contribute to a 15 per cent reduction in electricity. This is an example of how energy savings can be made sensibly,” Steve Chadwick said.

Energy audits were carried out on DOC buildings across the country earlier this year to identify ways of reducing DOC’s electricity consumption. In places where transport costs and electricity charges were high, for example islands and remote locations, installing solar water heating was seen as a logical solution.

The installations are on track to be completed by November this year with another 20 planned for the next financial year.


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