Kindy project slashes power costs

Coastal News - - News -

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.

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