24 Sep 2020

Clean energy coal boiler replacement fund rolls out to more schools

10:32 am on 24 September 2020

Government funding to switch coal boilers to clean energy is being rolled out to another 18 schools.

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Climate Change Minister James Shaw announced the $200m fund in January. Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone

The Clean Powered Public Service fund announced in January by Climate Change Minister James Shaw as part of the New Zealand Upgrade Programme initially targeted eight schools and two hospitals.

Shaw this morning announced the list was being expanded to include another 18 schools, bringing the total to 26.

The announcement allocates $50m from the $200m total for the switchovers.

  • Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Wairarapa (Wairarapa)
  • Waitaki Boys' High School (Otago)
  • Big Rock Primary School (Otago)
  • Murihiku Young Parents' Learning Centre (Southland)
  • Meremere School (Waikato)
  • Miller Avenue School (Waikato)
  • Newfield Park School (Southland)
  • Manukorihi Intermediate School (Taranaki)
  • Ōhakune School (Manawatū-Whanganui)
  • Greytown School (Wairarapa)
  • Ōhau School (Manawatū-Whanganui)
  • Pukerua Bay School (Wellington)
  • Rosebank School (Balclutha) (Otago)
  • Dipton School (Southland)
  • Edendale Primary School (Southland)
  • Invercargill Middle School (Southland)
  • Pukerau School (Southland)
  • Waikaka School (Southland)

Shaw said the replacements at these 18 schools would reduce carbon emissions by around 36,500 tonnes over the next 10 years.

"Because of the inaction by previous governments, far too many of our schools still use old, dirty, climate-polluting boilers to keep their kids warm," Shaw said in a statement.

"We are changing that by making sure that more kids, now and in the future, will be kept warm at school by clean energy."

The University of Canterbury, Lakes District Health Board, MidCentral District Health Board, Inland Revenue, Auckland University of Technology, and New Zealand Defence Force have also made upgrades under the fund.

Shaw said further schools to make use of the fund would be announced later this year and next year.

"I have visited some of the schools we're supporting and in a couple of places have seen the old dirty boiler we're replacing, which are in rooms coated black by coal deposits that have built up over 60 years of someone literally having to shovel coal first thing in the morning so the kids have somewhere warm to learn. I've then gone on to visit another school that has already had the work done, and seen a pristine, quiet, hugely efficient wood chip boiler.

"Seeing the work the fund is supporting pales in comparison to talking to kids and hearing how excited they are to find out that their school is helping the planet they are going to inherit from us. I am delighted that more kids and young people will soon have the same to say about their school."

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