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Green Party launches Solar in Schools policy

24 July 2014

Green Party launches Solar in Schools policy

The Green Party will help schools install solar and save money on their power bills by investing $20 million into solar PV systems in schools.

The $20 million is expected to:
• Help around 500 schools install solar over three years
• Result in 6.7MW of total installed capacity
• Achieve annual savings of $1.64m (exclusive of GST) over the 25 year lifespan of the panels installed
• Achieve total savings of $41m (exclusive of GST) over the 25 year lifespan of the panels installed
• Allow schools to invest in other areas of teaching and learning with the money saved
• Educate kids, staff, parents and the wider community about clean energy

“In the same way that households are paying too much for power, schools’ electricity bills are too high,” said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman.

“Our Solar in Schools policy will allow them to save money on electricity - money which can be invested directly into teaching and learning instead.

“It’s effectively increasing schools’ operations budget, in a smart, green way.

“Smart Green Innovation is one of the Green Party’s top three election priorities and putting solar in our schools is part of that.

“Solar power is growing rapidly around the world and we want New Zealand schools to be part of the cutting edge of renewable electricity generation,” said Dr Norman.

Dr Norman and Green Party energy spokesperson Gareth Hughes launched the policy at Laingholm Primary School in West Auckland today.

Laingholm plans to install a10KW solar system, which will save it over $2,500 a year in electricity costs.

“A saving of $2,500 on electricity would enable me to double the amount of money I allocate in my budget to literacy,” said Principal Martyn Weatherill. “This policy will benefit the environment and improve student achievement.”

“Solar PV is one of the smartest, greenest forms of electricity generation available,” said Dr Norman.

“We can reduce electricity demand by powering our schools with the sun that shines during the day.

“Solar in Schools has the added benefit of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and educating students, staff and the wider community about environmental sustainability and clean energy.

“The National Party may have no plan to reduce power bills, but the Green Party has a comprehensive set of policies that will mean cleaner, cheaper power for all New Zealanders. This includes our kids,” said Dr Norman.

Solar in Schools builds on previous Green Party energy announcements, including NZ Power, which will create a single buyer and save families around $300 a year, and Solar Homes, which will help households install solar on their roofs.

For full details of the policy, go to: www.greens.org.nz/solarschools

ENDS

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