Ry Stinton, General Manager, Waingākau Housing Development with Home owner, Junior MacArthur
Nine homes in Flaxmere Wests Waingākau Housing Development have received funding to install solar power, improve energy affordability and create warm, healthy and energy efficient homes with the Māori and Public Housing Renewable Energy Fund announced by Minister Woods and Minister Henare today.
The $2.8M National fund allocated to Māori Housing projects was established to trial small-scale renewable energy technologies. The first round of funding, administered by Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment will create energy savings for homeowners and could lead to improved health outcomes.
Mike Paku, Waingākau Director says “With $14M committed to fund these projects over four years, the door is open for further opportunities for whānau in our community.”
“This funding works alongside our carefully designed insulation solutions for these homes to deliver higher insulation specs to homeowners,” says Mr Paku, “we have a commitment to deliver warm homes to whānau, and this announcement helps us to achieve this.”
Waingākau Home owner, Junior MacArthur is rapt with the news, “saving up to build my home has been a journey on its own, to find out that my home will receive solar energy is great news, my wife and I couldn’t be happier.”
Aaron Duncan, director of Free Energy Solar in Hawke’s Bay will begin installation soon, retro fitting six of the completed homes and the three new builds. Solar energy installation for the nine homes is expected to be completed by the end of winter.
“Having installed solar to numerous papakāinga around Kahungunu, I have seen first hand the reductions to power bills for whānau, it’s great that Government is looking at different ways of assisting whānau to keep warm at a lower cost,” says Mr Duncan.
Whānau who receive the solar will also receive ongoing education, tips and training for the efficient use of solar energy around the home such as best times for using appliances, selecting a good electricity provider to sell back to the grid and how ventilation assists with keeping the home warm.
Smart meters will be installed to collect useful data for the Waingākau Development including power generation and consumption with a view to continue investment and put forward proposals to Government to continue funding for solar energy.