Greens: Put solar panels in schools

MICHAEL FOX
Last updated 11:06 24/07/2014

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The Green Party wants to spend $20m putting solar panels into 500 schools over three years.

Co-leader Russel Norman says the panels would save a total of $1.64m a year and allow savings to be redirected into teaching and learning.

It would also boost awareness of clean energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

"In the same way that households are paying too much for power, schools' electricity bills are too high," Norman said.

The policy was launched at Laingholm Primary School in West Auckland today.

Principal Martyn Weatherill said in a statement provided by the Green Party that they planned to install a 10KW solar system which would save $2500 a year.

This would enable him to double the amount of money he allocates to improving literacy as well as reducing electricity demand and the school's carbon footprint, he said.

"This policy will benefit the environment and improve student achievement."

Jason Tane, Principal of Peria School in Northland said installing solar panels would save $6000 a year in electricity costs. It would pay for itself within four years, he said.

It was previously paying $900 a month to power the school which has only 31 students.

The Greens have previously announced a policy which would make available cheap loans to allow homeowners to install solar panels which they say would save households $100 a year in power costs.

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