John Weekes is an NZME News Service reporter based in Wellington.

Panel goes up, costs come down for winning family

Solar panel winner Mai Digby.  Photo / Michael Craig
Solar panel winner Mai Digby. Photo / Michael Craig

Sometimes it pays to listen to an 8-year-old's advice. Mai Digby from St Johns is a winner after her son, Damian, urged her to enter the Herald on Sunday solar panel contest.

Avid Lego collector Damian keeps a keen eye on building and construction trends and pointed out the savings the solar panel would bring. So Digby was thrilled to hear this week she had won the solar panel, courtesy of Right House and the Herald on Sunday.

"He thinks it's excellent," Digby says. "But I keep asking him how the system works, because I do not understand," she jokes.

The photovoltaic panel could generate 4160kw a year, potentially slashing the average family's power bill in half.

The Digbys moved from Vietnam in 1997, settling in Tauranga before shifting to Auckland seven years ago. Digby and her parents rent from a relative, who she says was also excited by the news. The panel will be installed in the next week.

The contest followed the newspaper's Warm Homes campaign, which urged landlords to insulate homes.

Splash Monitoring will track the power generated by Digby's system and how much it is saving her over the coming months.

Developed in New Zealand, Splash monitors the solar power system to ensure it generates maximum savings. It also helps educational, corporate and commercial customers publicise their investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy installations.

- Herald on Sunday

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