Solar panels help charities cut costs

Rocky Bay property and project coordinator David Hall. Picture: Martin Kennealey www.communitynews.com.au d491643
Rocky Bay property and project coordinator David Hall. Picture: Martin Kennealey www.communitynews.com.au d491643

CHARITIES and not-for-profit groups can apply for solar panels through the Synergy Community Solar Fund.

Disability service provider Rocky Bay hopes to received panels this year after Synergy audited its Duncraig premises last year.

Property and procurement manager Qais Dost said the organisation has investigated and implemented several changes based on the audit’s recommendations, including to remove lights in areas where high lights levels were not needed.

Mr Dost said they got cost estimates to replace light globes and tubes and told staff to use hot desk areas rather the conference room to reduce electricity usage.

He said they also adjusted air-conditioning settings to meet the recommended 21 degrees or lower in winter and 24 degrees or higher in summer.

Synergy’s chief executive Jason Waters said the fund helped those organisations access and benefit from the savings potential of roof top solar and meant savings could go into programs where they are needed most.

Last year six charities received a total 150kW of affordable renewable energy, through the installation of roof-top solar systems.

Parenting support organisation Ngala saved about $3500 in the first nine weeks after its 80kW system was installed.

Community groups can apply online here until March 31 and winners will be announced in June.

Federal Government offers solar grants

THE Federal Solar Communities Program will provide grants of up to $12,500 for eligible community organisations for small-scale solar and battery projects, such as the installation of new solar panels, solar hot water systems or battery systems.

“Community groups struggle under the weight of high power prices,” Pearce MHR Christian Porter said, encouraging groups to apply so they could reduce their energy use.

Expressions of interest can be submitted online here until March 28.