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Marlborough the latest to support solar PV

Marlborough District Council is the latest local body to support its ratepayers who want to install a solar PV system.

The council is currently asking for expressions of interest from service providers who are members of the Sustainable Energy Association New Zealand.

Once the scheme is up and running the council will pay for the cost of solar panel purchase and installation by an approved provider. Ratepayers will repay the council over 9 years through a targeted rate. There is an an administration fee and an interest rate of 5.5%.

Marlborough Council has already been offering support to ratepayers installing approved solar water heating systems.

EECA’s Energywise website has a page here with links to many councils and banks who offer support for the installation of energy-efficient heating and insulation.

 

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Rising sea levels bring big bills

A report by Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) looked at what rising sea levels could mean for infrastructure around our coastlines, including drinking water, wastewater and stormwater, roading and other infrastructure.

The research modelled different sea level rises using topographical data from 62 councils.

LGNZ noted that rising sea levels are already having an impact on some councils, particularly in the Bay of Plenty, Hawkes Bay, West Coast and South Dunedin.

A rise of 0.5 metres could put roading, the three waters and building infrastructure valued at $2.7 billion at risk. The value rises to many times that figure for higher sea level rises.

These figures do not include the structures that sit on top of the infrastructure such as homes, schools, office buildings and factories.

The report makes four key recommendations:

  • Local government should lead a national discussion about what services can be maintained in the short, medium and long term as sea levels rise.
  • Central and local government should establish a National Climate Change Adaptation Fund to ensure costs are shared fairly.
  • A Local Government Risk Agency should be established to provide guidance to councils.
  • Local government and other owners of vulnerable infrastructure should jointly create a National Master Plan of options, priorities and ooprtunities.

A summary of the report can be found here and the full report here

 

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Updated ALF online tool to launch 19 February

Version 4.0 of the BRANZ online calculator ALF will be launched on 19 February.

ALF 4.0 determines the building performance index (BPI) of a house design. It can be used to demonstrate that a specific house design complies with New Zealand Building Code clause H1 Energy efficiency.

ALF also allows designers to optimize the energy efficiency of a house design. It can be used with both planned and existing houses.

BRANZ Bulletin 629 provides a guide to the updated calculator.

Anyone who has existing projects saved in ALF 3.2 will need to save these as PDFs before 3pm on Friday 15 February because they will not be migrated to ALF 4.0.

The address of the updated calculator will still be alf.branz.co.nz, but logging on to the updated tool will require a My BRANZ account. Anyone who does not have an account can easily set one up here. There is no cost to set up an account.