Councillors question plans for cleaner school heating

Lee Vandervis
Lee Vandervis
Two Dunedin city councillors have questioned a move away from using coal for heating in schools across the region.

At a Dunedin City Council meeting this week, Enviroschools regional co-ordinator Robyn Zink presented an update on the programme and what it was doing in schools.

Ms Zink said Enviroschools was looking at supporting schools to transition into more sustainable practices and was working with the University of Otago physics department to develop plans for some schools to review their energy use.

Ministry of Education records showed 71 Otago and Southland schools still had active or usable coal boilers.

When asked what the alternatives to coal were, Ms Zink said it was dependent on the school, but heat pumps or woodchip boilers were options.

Seven southern schools received government funding in January to replace their coal boilers with cleaner biomass boilers, which used wood pellets, for heating.

Cr Lee Vandervis questioned whether it was worth moving away from coal, as it was cheaper than woodchips, the use of which would put a strain on already tight school budgets.

Cr Doug Hall further asked what the price difference was between woodchips and coal, and noted the change to renewable energy woodchip would mean investment in a new boiler.

Ms Zink said to her knowledge, schools using coal were spending more per pupil than schools using electricity and there was a good supply of woodchips in Dunedin.

The quality of coal was decreasing and it was costing schools more to maintain boilers.

emma.perry@odt.co.nz

Comments

View all

It goes without saying that Vandetvis is against it, he is against everything.
Thankfully he was not elected mayor, if he had the city would be a shambles with no direction.

So do you just read to the part where it says 'Vandervis disagreed' etc etc and then tune out, without ever reading why he is opposed to things.

Usually it's unnecessary spending he's against. Which we, the ratepayers, end up paying for. So if you like your rates bills to keep increasing, keep ignoring Vandervis. :)

Agreed! We'd be in a shambles.
And the energy experts cost woodchip use as significantly cheaper than coal.
The World Health Organisation says coal is a mass killer via lung diseases, cancer etc. Why would we want it raining on our kids?!
It seems Vandervis critiques everything, often without referencing research or experts.

Wood Chip burners require a lot of annual maintenance so the maintenance cost factors would been to be included in the scope, that is why the Government needs to screw down suppliers and servicing of any heating unit as well as supply of spare parts for xx amount of in the time. You don't want suppliers selling end of line products that are out of date and will have no spares ensuring parts are available for 5- 10 years depending on the cost of the unit and in the contract if the units become obsolete have the supplier advise and be contracted to carry xx amount of spares and KPI's met.

The funny thing about it is that Vamdervis has nothing to do with it. It is a Govt issue nothing to do with him but off he goes again yapping away.
Vandervis for PM.

Seems to me you have a snitch against Vandervis and it is you against everything good or bad that he does, you are not paid to be are you?, so instead of moaning, why don't you have a go at being elected in the next elections and turn that moaning into something good for the city?.

Is Vandervis's work contained to being aggressive and complaining or is he actually doing something positive out there. Please enlightened us because I see nothing. Maybe the good stuff is not coming out because there is a conspiracy out there and we should all pop our tinfoil hats on good and tight.
'A snitch against Vandervis' you say.. no not really, I just choose to put my faith in people that don't spend all their time complaining.
Yes I am thinking about running the next time. My angle would be.. practical solutions, delivery, working with others not against them and calling out the complainers every chance I get. $50k for a campaign, yep no worries.

@Kezza it isn't a councils job, more of a Government process which will allow the Government to use an umbrella approach so they can use its buying power to get a better deal for schools rather than each council or regional council thinking it is a great idea for abc and have tunnel vision or a bias. Why is this being discussed at Council level and trying to sort something that is higher than there pay grade and authority, This needs to be decided, funded and implemented at a Central Government nation wide, not somebody who thinks it is a good ideated doesn't have all the facts . Alarm bells to me.

Dr Zink's comment her knowledge, schools using coal were spending more per pupil than schools using electricity and there was a good supply of woodchips in Dunedin.

A nice way of saying I ain't got a clue

So Vandervis is yap yap yapping about something he has no influance over anyway and he thinks he runs the country now.
I hear you loud and clear.

Kezza If it is tabled at a meeting and he doesn't agree, he isn't a sheep like the rest and obviously objects and has his say. rather than just say nothing and collects his pay packet - just my thoughts. You may hear me loud and clear but you have no idea - I have no other words for you,

He dosent get a say but wants a say.
Offered an olive branch to help in Council and refuses as he deams the job to be below him.
I asked you for a list of Vandervis successes. No reply.
Surely success is what we need in leaders. I would be willing to listen if you could post his long list of achomplishments while in Council.
FYI. Complained about this, complaimed about that is not an achomplishment.

View all