Schools eye energy bill cuts

The Tribune (NZ) - - ENVIRONMENT - NIKKI PINDUR If you’d like to know more about this ini­tia­tive email pncet.info@gmail.com.

PALMER­STON NORTH CITY EN­VI­RON­MEN­TAL TRUST Schools in Palmer­ston North will start re­duc­ing their energy con­sump­tion this year in a new ini­tia­tive launched by energy man­age­ment firm Torque IP and the Palmer­ston North City En­vi­ron­men­tal Trust.

Torque IP and the trust be­gan work­ing to­gether to iden­tify the lim­i­ta­tions on schools be­com­ing in­volved in energy ef­fi­ciency pro­grammes.

‘‘The cost for schools is a large bar­rier,’’ says Ste­fan Botha of Torque IP. ‘‘We needed to source ad­di­tional funds so that we could lever­age avail­able EECA (gov­ern­ment) fund­ing.’’

The trust ap­proached Torque IP about 18 months ago to look at ways pri­mary schools could be in­volved in an energy ef­fi­ciency pro­gramme.

Ini­tially, the trust wanted to look at in­fra­struc­ture for so­lar pan­els to be in­stalled in schools.

‘‘Af­ter some in­ves­ti­ga­tion, we learned that many schools don’t track where they could save money in their ev­ery­day day-to-day run­ning,’’ says trust chair­man Brent Bar­rett.

Torque IP has ar­ranged to work with Ross In­ter­me­di­ate, Rus­sell Street School, Park­land School, Ash­hurst School, and Whakaronga School to re­duce their power bills for a three-year pe­riod and be­yond.

To help schools lower their energy con­sump­tion, the com­pany has de­vel­oped SEEP (School Energy Ef­fi­ciency Pro­gramme).

Schools tak­ing part are able to watch their energy sav­ings online and take ad­van­tage of the na­tional energy re­duc­tion com­pe­ti­tion Con­ser­va­tion Cup (www.con­ser­va­tion­cup.co.nz).

Torque IP guar­an­tees sav­ings of 10 per cent for the schools that join SEEP.

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