Modern 609m2 house with 4.5kW photovoltaics, solar hot water, wetback powering energy efficient appliances. Come and see!

Contact us today to visit the solar energy house and get extensive hints, tips and notes for free as part of the tour...


About Kristina & Simon Cope

What on earth got us into renewable energy, let alone making our house as energy efficient as possible?


Well, you guessed it, we would like to thank our parents for the positive influence they have given us as we grew up, and continue to give now.


Kristina's father, John Austin, founding partner of JASMAX, New Zealand's largest architectural practise encouraged Kristina to qualify as a registered architect.


Her mother, Kay Austin, a successful importer and distributor of cotton (for knitting machines), in addition to marketing a range of her own apparel under the 'Kay Austin' label throughout NZ.


Simon's father, Sam W. Cope, builder and then Sales Marketing Professional for many years at Frank Winstones, encouraged Simon at an early age to play around with electricity / electronics and solar heating. Sam then encouraged Simon to become an electrician with the Ministry of Works based at Fanshawe Street, in downtown Auckland. Here Simon got the opportunity to work with M&I installing photovoltaics (solar electric modules) on the Lighthouses around New Zealand, to helping the Harbour Board with installing  PVs on the signal bouys in the Auckland harbour, through to putting them on all the emergency telephones up and down the Auckland motorways.


Simon's mother, Robin Cope, multi-lingual in English and French, (qualified English teacher), encouraged him in marketing, sales and entrepeneurial skills.



Then The Earth Met The Sun...

So, our parents started us on the journey, and when we met each other, Kristina was a practising architect running her company 'Earth Building South Pacific' specialising in Earth Architecture (Adobe mudbrick, Rammed Earth etc), and Simon was now running his company, C+I Solar Ltd, specialising in commerical and residential photovoltaic system design and installation.


Well known Auckland publisher and editor; Jon Eisen, encouraged us to put our feet where our mouth was, so we did two things:


1/ In 1993 John challenged Simon to 100% run his house off solar electricity. So off the grid we went for 5 years. To read about this story, click here.


2/ Wrote a comprehensive book called 'Solar Made Easy' which sold out of print twice (over 4000 copies sold in New Zealand alone) - so obviously a demand here in New Zealand from Kiwis to learn about using solar in their house to effectively save on their power bills.


When Simon Cope left the Ministry of Works he now had an NZCE in Electronics and Computer Science, and was partway through doing his Certificate in Supervisory Management. After realising he had good management and sales skills he applied for a job at Components + Instrumentation (NZ) Ltd - the company who was the sole importer of photovoltaics into New Zealand (the same company that as an electrician the MOW, Auckland Harbour Board and M&I was purchasing for Simon and his team to install.... small world)


C+I NZ Ltd also had many other commercial clients - Telecom, NZ Police, Dept of Conservation, NIWA etc that purchased PVs for their industrial and commerical projects throughout NZ...


Seeing the potential for more domestic use of this incredible technology Simon (now as a shareholder in C+I) proposed to the other Directors that he create a separate entity called C+I Solar Ltd....


Simon then proceeded to set up 21 Renewable Energy Consultants (and resellers for the PV related products he was importing) throughout the country and started a marketing campaign to raise awareness of the urban use of solar electricity and energy conservation with the general public.


From there, Simon Cope became a regular speaker at various National Fielddays in the different towns throughout NZ, a regular commentator on TV and in the NZ Herald on solar energy in NZ...



Yeah, But What Has Kristina Been Doing During This Time?

Meanwhile, Kristina sold share in her architectural practice - Earth Building South Pacific to her business partner and started up in 2000 Products From New Zealand Ltd - an online ecommerce store selling the best of New Zealand made gifts and products to people around the world...

This online store was one of the first in New Zealand and has grown from strength to strength over the years - employing staff, having in excess of 100,000 unique visitors come and visit each month... it is now pretty much self-sufficient, so in anticipation of building stage 2 of our house in 2009, Kristina  completed her Interior Design Diploma.


House is now completed (yah!) and Kristina put all her architectural skills and interior design skills into practice... she is now looking to design your renovation or new house... interested? Then please contact her to discuss further...


Hopefully, this short history about us was not too boring! (if you want to know more then go here to learn more about Simon Cope's achievements, or here to learn more about Kristina Cope's achievements - it is business orientated (I warn you now)...)



Come and visit the Solar Energy House in Meadowbank, Auckland by booking in for a tour.

Solar Energy House C/- Simon & Kristina Cope | 19 Manapau Street, Meadowbank, Auckland 1072  |  New Zealand  |  Contact us now to arrange your tour


John C. Austin - Architect

CopeFamily4_250W K&SMarried_250W

Kay Austin - Clothing Designer


Positive Influences In Our Lives...

Robin & Sam Cope - Qualified School Teacher / Builder


'The Earth' (Kristina - Architect specialising in Earth housing design (e.g. Adobe etc) met 'The Sun' (Simon - Renewable Energy Consultant) and they got married. (Inseparable!)

Along came two wonderful daughters - Isabella and Zoe to compliment our dog Poppy and cat Geronimo...

In 2000 Simon was recognised by the NZ Government as contributing significantly to educating the public on renewable energy and energy efficiency, and helping making this technology more readily available for the general public in New Zealand. Award presented by the Hon. Pete Hodgson - Minister of Energy.

Solar Energy House C/- Simon & Kristina Cope | 19 Manapau Street, Meadowbank, Auckland 1072  |  New Zealand  |  Contact us now to arrange your tour