Residents Yarra wide will soon have access to subsidised solar panels through the Yarra Energy Foundation’s ‘Solar Bulk Buy’ program.
The program’s expansion comes after a successful trial in the neighbouring suburb of Richmond where there were more than 300 expressions of interest and solar capacity within the suburb increased by 10-12%.
The bulk buy gives residents access to market leading rates by aggregating suburbs of people and making a single discounted bulk purchase.
Yarra Energy Foundation acting chief executive Dean Kline said the program’s expansion will make solar power more accessible and affordable.
“The solar bulk buy, planned for early 2018, will give all Yarra residents the opportunity to purchase high quality solar photovoltaic (PV) systems for their homes or businesses at market leading rates.”
“This is the best option for homeowner’s eager to invest in solar power. The program’s scope means that we are able to demand quality materials with bulk purchase discounts.”
“This process makes it easy for households to make the move towards solar power because we organise everything from finding quality manufacturers, to overseeing installation and even project managing if required,” Mr. Kline said.
Solar powered panels installed as part of the program are predicted to have paid for themselves after five to eight years and PV systems are guaranteed for at least 25 years.
Saint Marys House of Welcome in Fitzroy received an eight kilowatt (Kw) solar PV system last September and business manager Kathy Hogarty said the donation makes a huge difference to their bottom line.
“Our services like hot showers, a warm place to relax and freshly prepared meals demand considerable electricity use and the solar panels save us about 10 to 12% on our monthly electricity bill.”
“That equates to around $2500 a year, which is enough money for us to provide meals to the homeless for a month.”
“The installation itself was quite seamless and a sideline to that it brought a level of awareness both to our organisation and the community at large where by people consciously thought about their own energy use,” Mrs. Hogarty said.
Doctor Jacek Jasieniak Monash university’s director of Energy Materials & Systems Institute said solar power is the most viable renewable energy option for those living in metropolitan areas.
“About 16% of Victorian households have solar power, which equates to about 400,000 homes. It’s a popular renewable energy option for metropolitan households because it is among the cheapest available and only limited by roof direction and size.”
“The average household uses between 20 – 25 kWh per day. To produce enough solar power to meet these energy demands a household would need 17 – 21 high powered panels at the minimum.”
“While it is unlikely that typical metropolitan houses will be able to go off grid, there is no impediment for local generation on a smaller scale that is used, passed back to the grid, or stored in a local energy storage system,” Dr. Jasieniak said.
Registrations for the Yarra Energy Foundation’s solar bulk buy are expected to open early 2018, for more information click here.
Written by Joseph Regan