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SolarCity Revolution

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To the Local Territorial Authorities ofNew Zealand,

We, the undersigned, request that our local territorial authorities commit to introducing Solar Saver-type financing schemes to drive the uptake of solar hot water heating across New Zealand and help Kiwis become more energy secure, save money and combat climate change.

Few challenges facing New Zealand are more urgent than climate change and an oil crunch accompanied by energy price hikes. Both threaten our energy security and way of life.

New Zealand is rich in renewable resources and could be leading the world in showing how nations can move beyond fossil fuels to a clean energy economy based on solar, wind, geothermal and hydro to power our economy and protect our environment.

The introduction of Solar Saver schemes across the country will give a much needed boost to investment in, and the uptake of, new technologies - generating thousands of local jobs in the clean energy sector from scientific research to engineering, manufacturing, installation and servicing.

By introducing a local area-wide scheme and offering a no-cost upfront 10-year repayment plan, Solar Saver makes solar hot water affordable for any household income level, allowing monthly power bill savings to be used to cover the cost of purchase and installation. This means the scheme works for lower-income families who stand to benefit the most from savings.

In Nelson, the City Council has pioneered the introduction of the first Solar Saver scheme allowing homeowners to spread the cost of going solar. Since its launch the scheme has driven down the capital cost of solar by approximately 20%, created new jobs and secured over $3m of inward investment for clean technology.

With peak oil predicted to start having impacts on our way of life as early as 2012 it is only with the full support of communities across New Zealand that we will meet our goals of lowering greenhouse gas emissions and reducing our dependence on foreign oil.

One of the suggestions being tested by New Zealand councils for reducing our reliance on imported oil is a move to electric vehicles. To enable such a shift without extracting more polluting fossil fuels we need to reduce our electricity demand in other areas. Hot water heating uses 34% of an average household’s electricity. That’s power we could be getting free and clean, from the sun.

Communities are ready to play their part if given the proper support and tools to do so. By introducing Solar Saver schemes to enable Kiwis to generate their own power local government will further contribute to a 100% renewable energy future for New Zealand.


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