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Carbon Neutral Government A Step Closer

Hon James Shaw

Minister for Climate Change

· Fossil fuel boiler replacements at Southern Institute of Technology and Taranaki DHB, saving nearly 14,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide over the next 10 years

· Projects to achieve a total savings of around 26,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide over the next 10 years, supporting the Government’s commitment to a carbon neutral public service

The Government is rolling out its plan for a carbon neutral public sector by 2025 by committing funding to a range of clean energy projects, including coal boiler replacements at ten schools, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today.

Schools, tertiary institutions, hospitals, and other government agencies will be supported to replace fossil fuel boilers with cleaner alternatives and improve the efficiency of buildings.

The projects will reduce carbon emissions by around 26,000 tonnes over the next 10 years, equivalent to taking over 1,000 cars off the road.

“Our Government has committed to achieving carbon neutrality in the public sector within five years. Today’s announcement takes us a step closer towards delivering on that promise. It also helps ensure more of the places our kids go to learn and our loved ones go to be cared for are contributing towards meeting the emission reduction targets this Government has put in place,” James Shaw said.

The projects announced today include:

· replacing coal boilers at 10 schools

· replacing coal boilers at the Southern Institute of Technology and a natural gas boiler at Taranaki DHB

· improving the energy efficiency of facilities at Auckland, Waikato and Hawkes Bay DHBs, and Massey and Victoria Universities

“Fossil fuels are still used to heat and keep the lights on in too many of New Zealand’s most important public buildings.

“Last week we announced plans to make sure that the energy we use to power industry comes from clean, renewable sources, rather than from burning dirty fossil fuels. Today we do the same for schools, hospitals, and tertiary institutions,” James Shaw said.

Minister Shaw made today’s announcement at Pukerua Bay School, which is one 36 schools announced to date to receive Government support to replace its coal boiler.

“I have visited a number of the schools we are supporting to replace their old, dirty coal boilers we are replacing. These boilers are usually located in rooms coated black by coal deposits that have built up over 60 years of someone literally having to shovel coal first thing in the morning so the kids have somewhere warm to learn.

“On every visit I have heard from parents and teachers how pleased they are that we are finally bringing this to an end. But, I have to say, on every visit what I enjoy most is talking to the kids and hearing how excited they are to find out that their school is helping the planet they are going to inherit from us.” James Shaw said.

Minister Shaw noted that today’s announcement also helps to advance the commitments in the Cooperation Agreement between Labour and the Green Party to decarbonise the public sector.

“We know there is much more we need to do, but today’s announcement shows that this Government is right to prioritise cutting emissions from the public sector,” James Shaw said.

Further information

Funding for the clean energy projects will be allocated from the Government’s $200 million State Sector Decarbonisation Fund, administered by EECA (Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority).

The fund was created in 2019 to support schools, hospitals, and other public organisations to make the switch to clean energy – including changes that will be required to achieve a carbon-neutral government sector by 2025.

Today’s announcement means that the State Sector Decarbonisation Fund has committed funding for clean energy upgrades at 36 schools, 7 universities and 10 hospitals.

In September 2020, the Minister for Climate Change announced that almost $55 million from the State Sector Decarbonisation Fund had been set aside to replace coal boilers in up to 90 schools. The ten schools announced today will be funded through this allocation.

For more information about the fund State sector decarbonisation fund | EECA

The ten schools announced today are:

School10 year emissions reduction
Raglan Area School683 (estimate)
Hillcrest High School2030
Paeroa Central School80
Feilding Intermediate181
Marton Junction School121
Raetihi Primary School281
Northern Southland College503
Reefton Area School1005
Buller High School1206
Westport North School1005 (estimate)

The remaining projects announced today are:

· $2 million for Massey University to improve the energy efficiency of the Manawatū Campus Library by upgrading the façade. EECA estimates this will reduce carbon emissions by around 3,910 tonnes over the next ten years (around 391 tonnes per annum on average over ten years), as well as result in estimated annual energy savings of 196 kWh per square metre. Massey University will invest $2.762 million from its own budget

· $175,000 for Victoria University to install efficient lighting. Victoria University will invest $261,000 from its own budget. EECA estimates this project will reduce carbon emissions by around 746 tonnes over the next ten years (around 74.6 tonnes per annum on average over ten years). This project will also reduce energy use from lighting by an estimated 78 percent

· $276,000 for Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) to replace two coal boilers with low-emissions alternatives (either electricity or biomass). SIT will also invest $276,000 from its own budget. EECA estimates this project will reduce carbon emissions by around 3,819 tonnes over the next ten years (around 381.9 tonnes per annum on average over ten years)

· $1.080 million for Taranaki DHB to replace or bypass its gas boiler with a low-emissions alternative. Taranaki DHB will also invest $1.620 million from its own budget. EECA estimates this project will reduce carbon emissions by around 10,040 tonnes over the next ten years (around 1,004 tonnes per annum on average over ten years)

· $63,000 for Hawkes Bay DHB to install efficient heating and cooling. This project will also reduce harmful hydrofluorocarbons used for refrigeration. Hawkes Bay DHB will also invest $94,000 from its own budget. EECA estimates this project will reduce carbon emissions by around 66 tonnes over the next ten years (around 6.6 tonnes per annum on average over ten years)

· $172,000 for Auckland DHB to install efficient lighting at Auckland City Hospital. Auckland DHB will also invest $258,000 from its own budget. EECA estimates this project will reduce carbon emissions by around 355 tonnes over the next ten years (around 35.5 tonnes per annum on average over ten years). This project will also reduce energy use from lighting by an estimated 65 percent

· $58,000 for Waikato DHB to install efficient lighting and lighting controls. Waikato DHB will also invest $76,000 from its own budget. EECA estimates this project will reduce Waikato DHB’s carbon emissions by around 127 tonnes over the next ten years (around 12.7 tonnes per annum on average over ten years). This project will also reduce energy use from lighting by an estimated 63 percent

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