Waikato Regional Council (WRC) plans to install solar panels on its Paeroa office. The estimated cost savings in the first year is $4745 and the net savings over 25 years is $101,623. An estimated 83 tons of CO2 equivalent will be avoided over 25 years.
The cost of the installation is $35,000 with an estimated payback period of just seven years.
Solar panels are also included in the construction budget for the new Regional Council building in Tristram Street, Hamilton which is scheduled to open next week.
Whenever Thames-Coromandel District Council (TCDC) has debated whether it should take action on climate change to reduce emissions the argument has been made by some that there will be enormous unknown costs to ratepayers.
WRC have shown that the opposite is true. Action on climate change can achieve significant reductions in emissions whilst at the same time achieving impressive savings for ratepayers.
As directed by the High Court when it found that Council’s previous decisions were unlawful, TCDC is soon to begin public consultation on climate change. WRC’s leadership on climate action shows that councils can have a win win with prudent financial management AND also reduce emissions.
Solar power generation costs are falling rapidly as is evidenced by plans for a large solar farm near Whitianga.