Energy Alternatives NZ gets the Matakana green light.

Energy Alternatives NZ gets the Matakana green light.

A new housing development in Matakana has stipulated that all new houses are required to incorporate solar power in their homes. We talk to Energy Alternatives about how they got involved with the project.

Matakana Green is a new housing development in Matakana, north of Auckland. All homes in the new housing development are required to incorporate efficient technologies, and to achieve at least a Homestar 7 Star rating.

Homestar is a rating system for environmental and energy efficiency in new and existing homes. The Homestar rating looks at a range of features, including heating, insulation, lighting, water efficiency and the materials used.

Energy Alternatives NZ has been selected as the preferred supplier of solar power and Aquarian heat pump water heating technology for Matakana Green.

Heat pump water heater (HPWH) systems are seen as a key factor in achieving a Homestar 7 Star level of performance, because water heating is one of a home’s highest energy demands.

“The Aquarian water heating technology is a game-changer in terms of energy and carbon reduction in the home,” says Dana Darwin from Energy Alternatives.

“Well-designed and durably manufactured, these stainless steel units are at least three times more efficient than a conventional electric cylinder, so you get three kilowatts per hour (kWh) of usable energy for the price of one kWh.

“The functionality of the Aquarian makes it a complementary technology to use alongside solar PV (photovoltaic) panels, allowing for water heating during the day when solar energy is readily available,” he says.

At Matakana Green, it is covenanted that all homes will have actively-managed solar panels which feed into the national grid, with incorporated solar hot water systems. Double glazing, wool (or similar) insulation and water tanks will also be included. Homes designed utilising passive solar principles to achieve the Homestar rating will have long term low energy use.