Home-grown sustainability: Stewart Group

Our financial advisor neighbours across Karamu Road North in Hastings are the founders of the Te Rehe Solar Network, the first private peer-to-peer energy network of its kind in New Zealand.

The network was created as a result of Stewart Group working to reduce their reliance on the national power grid by installing a 44kw per hour solar array on their building. For comparison, the average household consumes around 22kw a day.

In April 2022 the network officially kicked off as a non-profit, community network of environmentally focused members. It has since grown to 80 members, made up of both solar energy generators and users – businesses and households.

At the Stewart Group building the solar panels power the offices as well as charge their EV fleet on weekdays, with any excess energy going into the solar network. Come the weekend or public holidays, almost all the solar energy goes back into the solar network.

The EV chargers are also made available for the public to use at the weekend, through the Parkable app, with the profits being donated to local charities.

“We’re hoping to encourage people to think about how they use electricity, where it comes from, the carbon impact, and to keep it local,” says Stewart Group CEO Nick Stewart. By 2026 they hope to have 1,000 members.

The solar energy initiative is part of their B Corp certification in their sustainability-focused investing strategies.

Here’s a business that instead of just focusing on its core work, is using its resources to achieve inspiring sustainability-orientated goals.



Read the full article: Home-grown sustainability work in the Bay  |  First published by BayBuzz