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Sustainable Power is in Our Hands

Media release 12 January 2009


Participants in the new Sustainable Living Programme enjoyed a field trip to a local solar house and discovered that it is not just solar power that is in our hands.


Simon and Kristina Cope’s Meadowbank house is powered by photovoltaic modules, which silently produces standard 230V AC electricity for all their electrical appliances. Simon (pictured) gave the group a very informative tour of his home, including photovoltaic, solar hot water and wetback systems plus energy saving appliances. Says participant Lily Henry-Ikiua: “I was quite amazed with how the whole solar house system worked, with power being produced to run the house then being transferred if in excess, back to the grid.”

The solar house tour was organised as part of a Sustainable Living course running at Selwyn Community Education in term four. Sustainable Living is an independent, community-based adult education programme that helps people make informed decisions about their lifestyle choices and how those choices affect the environment. Lily says: “Although I was using sustainable products and composting most of our garden scraps, after completing the course, I realised there were other green issues like organic gardening, energy and water to name a few. It brought many changes to my family's lifestyle.”


The Sustainable Living programme helps bring changes because it is not presented as boring lectures. In addition to the easy to use information it provides, it is also a chance to share problems and practical solutions in a fun and friendly setting. “The course was great – really got me thinking and acting!” says participant Angela Gibbons. “We have made so many changes as a result of attending the course that are not only good for the environment but have saved my family a lot of money.”


Changing to sustainable practices might initially seem a big ask but when individuals are empowered with the right information and good support, it simply feels like common sense. The power to make changes towards sustainable living is in our hands, says facilitator and local teacher Melanie Voyce who runs the course on eight Wednesday evenings at Selwyn College, Kohimarama. The course is supported by Auckland City Council.


For more information about the evening course, call Selwyn Community Education (245 Kohimarama Road) on 09 521 9623 or email [email protected] For more information about the programme contact Melanie Voyce on 021 0649268 or Eion Scott, Eco Design Advisor, Auckland City Council on 09-353 9048.


To find out more about practical actions you can take for the environment, visit: 


Otherwise, to arrange for you personally, or a group of you to come and see the Solar Energy House in Meadowbank, Auckland, New Zealand click here now.


Participants of new Sustainable Living course enjoy a field trip to Meadowbank solar house.


From left: ….., Lily Henry-Ikiua, Luciane Piners da Silva, Lloyd Jones, Melanie Voyce, Eion Scott, …… and Simon Cope.

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