Gyms, like any facility, use a lot of electricity but Inspire Gym and Fitness manager Mere Whanarere has found a way to save money and do her bit for the planet.
Last August, Whanarere had 184 solar panels installed on the roof which has been used to generate power to operate the gym during sunlight hours.
Having grown up living off the land, Whanarere has always wanted to be able to run the gym in a more sustainable way.
The gym is now fully iwi owned and comes under the umbrella of the Tu Poho Whanau Trust which is also partners with the Whanganui Resource Recovery Centre.
"As an iwi entity ideally we want to be leading the way when it comes to our sustainable future and making life easier for the moko."
She researched for years and came across eco-friendly gyms in New York that generated power from cardio equipment.
"That's something I thought wow that's the ideal, wouldn't we all want, as gym owners and operators, to be able to generate power from everyone else's natural energy."
But due to the equipment not being easy to access, she went back to the drawing board until a sales representative from SuperCharged Energy came to the gym and Whanarere invested some time and research into solar panels.
Almost a year after the installation, Whanarere said the panels have been amazing.
Not only is she in the eco-position she wants to be but she is saving on power by paying almost a third of the amount before the panels.
"I see it as an investment, I see it as contributing towards the carbon footprint and doing our bit for the world.
"Now I can split what we used to pay towards the power used and then pay off the system as well."
The panels are installed on a rent-to-own system which she hopes to pay off in the next five years.
"It's an investment because as you're going you're saving and saving on power and electricity costs but you're also investing in an asset as you buy the actual solar system."
She said she did not invest in batteries to store the power as that would defeat the purpose of being eco-friendly. So the panels generate the power the gym needs during the day and the power they need at night or when it is dark it gets from the grid.
In the last few months when Inspire had to close due to Covid-19 it managed to generate enough power to sell back to the grid, putting the gym a month in credit.
Whanarere would love to see more businesses in Whanganui invest in solar panels to potentially be a solar city.