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Good Sorts: Whakatane teacher saves school $206,000 in power bills

Dave Dobbin - the technology teacher, mind you, not the musician - has earned a reputation among his students as a bit of an inventor.

Seven years ago he walked into his classroom and switched off all the lights, which were mostly on - as was the heater.

It was on for 24 hours a day, by accident.

Dave took a look at his school's power bill and found it was rather large - 450,000 kilowatt hours and $120,000 per annum.

"I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and went straight around to principal and said we're spending 12 to 16 thousand dollars a month!" Dave says.

So he put his students to work - installing a wind turbine and a mini hydro power station - the latter mainly for education purposes.

They also put insulated buildings and put in solar panels - 117 of them.

After everything was installed, the next phase was to include the special needs students - explaining to them exactly how everything worked.

Now, Dave's school is reaping the rewards - by his reckoning, they've saved about $206,000 in energy.

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Dave has saved his school hundreds of thousands just by flicking switches at the end of the day. Source: 1 NEWS

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Dave has saved his school hundreds of thousands just by flicking switches at the end of the day. Source: 1 NEWS