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Pakuranga College Proves its Eco Credentials


12 October 2015

Pakuranga College Proves its Eco Credentials

Pakuranga College has become the first high school in New Zealand to achieve Bronze Status in the Schoolgen Super Solar Awards. Schoolgen is a programme run by Genesis Energy to promote solar energy and energy saving practices within schools. It helps schools to be more energy efficient by providing solar panels and installing them free of charge. In return, participating schools agree to integrate solar energy and energy efficiency into their curriculum.

Pakuranga College was one of the first schools to join the programme and received a 2kw solar array worth over $40,000 in June 2007. Schoolgen now has over 80 participating schools across the country and Pakuranga College is the lead school for the programme in East Auckland. Four years ago Schoolgen created the framework that is the Schoolgen Super Solar Awards. These are awarded in Bronze, Silver and Gold and the criteria for achieving these are tough. Pakuranga College is the first high school in the country to achieve the Schoolgen Super Solar Bronze Award. As Schoolgen student co-leader Michael Jessup says:

“Getting Bronze isn’t an easy task, but we have a dedicated team of people, as well as a great lead teacher, so we knew we could do it”.

In order to achieve Bronze status, the school had to succeed in three different areas: Informing, Empowering and Educating. The student Schoolgen team organised a number of events and activities in order to fulfil these requirements, including a school-wide ‘Turn all the Lights off’ campaign, a Schoolgen dance day and visits to local Wakaaranga Primary School to put on educational activities for pupils.

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Maggie Twaddle, Senior Environmental Educator at Genesis Energy and Schoolgen Team Leader pointed out:

“Pakuranga College students are exceptionally proactive in their involvement with this programme and have been very creative in their initiatives. It is great that those students who are passionate about energy efficiency and want to incorporate these principles into their lives are able to see them modelled in the school.”

To celebrate the Award, Schoolgen will be giving the school its latest energy monitoring technology – this will provide live monitoring of solar generation as well as energy consumption for the whole of the English block where the panels are located.

Michael Williams, Pakuranga College School Principal said:

“The importance of energy efficiency and its impact on the environment is something that we are keen to impress on our students. It is vital that young people realise that it is up to them to take responsibility for the future of New Zealand and the planet. With this programme they can see how their actions are having an impact. Last year the school reduced its energy consumption by 12% and this was largely due to the efforts of the Schoolgen student team.

For more information about the Schoolgen programme, please go to: http://www.schoolgen.co.nz/

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