HomeNewsSolar panels capture savings in Yarra Valley

Solar panels capture savings in Yarra Valley

More than 1,300 solar panels have been installed on Council facilities throughout the Yarra Valley, delivering savings of more than $100,000 per year on energy bills.

Council’s Carbon Management Program, now in its sixth year, is working to meet Council‘s 2020 emission reduction target.

A range of energy efficiency and solar projects delivered so far have resulted in greenhouse emissions across all Council operations declining every year for the past four years.

More than 4,000 solar panels will be installed throughout Yarra Ranges under the program by the end of June 2019.

So far, Council has installed more than 2,800 panels on 29 buildings, generating an estimated $225,000 in electricity bill savings per year and reducing annual greenhouse emissions by 1,277 tonnes (t-CO2e).

The solar panels installed across Council facilities could power about 160 average valley houses for a whole year.

Councillor Fiona McAllister said investing in solar panels presented plenty of opportunity for residents and businesses to save money on electricity bills and reduce their carbon emissions.

“At Healesville Community Link, Council has saved $7,000 since June this year after the 370 panels were installed,” McAllister said.

“The annual savings will be about 156 t-CO2e and $27,000.”

Councillor Jim Child said the program meant Council was setting a good example for residents and businesses.

“We’ve been able to keep our electricity bills down, even with electricity prices increasing on average by 50 per cent this year and into the future,” Child said.

“Not everyone knows the panels are up there saving rate payers money and reducing carbon emissions, but many people in the community are excited and impressed when they find out.”

Child said that $176,465 and 490 t-CO2e had been saved across the municipality last financial year.

Solar savings for commercial buildings

To help others in the community reap these benefits, Council is offering Environmental Upgrade Agreements (EUAs) to businesses that own or lease commercial, non-residential buildings in Yarra Ranges. EUAs are a good way for building owners to fund building upgrades that have positive environmental outcomes such as reducing energy use.

Tenants can also benefit from EUAs by contributing to the repayment of the loan in return for the savings they receive from the upgrade works. EUAs are managed by the Sustainable Melbourne Fund.

Environmental Upgrade Finance (EUF) is a long term, fixed interest, competitive loan to upgrade a building where the loan repayments are paid to the lender via Council’s quarterly rates notice.

To find out more about securing EUF for a business, visit the Sustainable Melbourne Fund website.

Annual estimated savings – Council facilities in the Valley

Coldstream Community Centre – 42 panels, 19 t-CO2e, $3,311 per year.

Healesville Outdoor Pool – 33 panels, 16 t-CO2e, $2,759

Healesville Memo – 79 panels, 38 t-CO2e, $8,199

Healesville Link – 370 panels, 156 t-CO2e, $27,484

Seville Water Play (pool) – 98 panels, 47 t-CO2e, $8,278

Upper Yarra Family Centre – 111 panels, 47 t-CO2e, $8,278

Upper Yarra Arts – 69 panels, 33 t-CO2e, $8,278

Warburton Mechanics Hall – 30 panels, 13 t-CO2e, $2,208

Yarra Centre Pool – 368 panels, 156 t-CO2e savings, $27,484

Yarra Glen Memorial Hall & RSL – 42 panels, 19 t-CO2e savings, $3,311

Yarra Junction Library – 63 panels, 28 t-CO2e savings, $4,961

Yarraburn Community Centre – 35 panels, 16 t-CO2e savings, $2,759

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