Kindy project slashes power costs
The Whangamata¯ Kindergarten is embracing a new energy selfsufficiency project.
Head teacher Jenny Elwin says it wanted to actively promote Enviroschools Kaupapa and Education for Sustainability.
“This is the foundation of our programme and we demonstrate our commitment in many ways within our kindergarten environment, kindergarten wha¯ nau and wider community.”
She says the Enviroschools Kaupapa was creating a healthy, peaceful and sustainable world through facilitating actionlearning; where intergenerations of people work with and learn from nature.
“It weaves in Ma¯ ori perspectives, combining traditional wisdoms with new understandings.
“Importantly, our kaupapa reminds us to be in connection: to love, care for and respect ourselves, each other and our planet.”
■ What next for Whangamata¯ Kindergarten?
Jenny says it looks forward to the next part of its journey and hopes that it can install battery storage. This will enable the kindergarten to balance the energy generation and store it until it needs to use it, and to run
the standby loads that happen overnight.
It can also set up battery storage to create an emergency
supply to designated areas in the building if the power from the grid is knocked out, such as some of the lighting, the fridge and
power points. This would be a great advantage to the community in times of uncertainty.
Replacing fluorescent lights with LED downlights will help cut lighting costs.
Solar panels will help the kindergarten reduce its electricity costs.