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Fitzsimons visits the future at campaign's end

7 November 2008

Fitzsimons visits the future on the last day of campaign

Today Green Party Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons visited a junior school under construction which incorporates a number of heating and energy initiatives, making it one of the most efficient schools in the country.

"It was a delight to see Mission Heights School in Flatbush installing 22 solar water heating panels, 50 percent of which is funded by the solar hot water heating programme negotiated by the Green Party," Ms Fitzsimons says.

"This school is being built with state of the art energy efficient technology which is being integrated into the children's learning programme.

"Mission Heights School is leading the way in energy efficiency by collecting and heating its own water; building with non-toxic materials and using computers which use only eight percent of a normal desk-top's electricity.

"Then, the entire energy-management system reports to a central computer in the library where the children can see how much solar radiation is falling on the roof, how much electricity and gas is being used, how high the water levels in the tanks are and how much hot water is being generated and used - and how all these things piece together to power their school.

"The solar water supplier - EcoSolar - is also about to launch an exciting new programme for home solar water heating at a much lower cost than has previously been available.

"I have been challenging the solar industry to provide quality solar water heaters at an affordable price for New Zealanders," Ms Fitzsimons says.

"And now EcoSolar has developed a way to do this - in January, their programme will meet all quality standards, they have highly trained installers from a community trust, and will take advantage of the three consents that some councils are now offering as a result of the Green Party's programme.

"As a result, with the grant from the Greens' Solar initiative, EcoSolar will be able to sell systems for around $2000 per household.

"I'm delighted that the work we've been doing with solar heated water is resulting at last in affordable household systems. Next year this programme should achieve the economies of scale we've been seeking."

ENDS

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