‘Bulk Buy’ brings power to people

STRATHBOGIE Shire Council has hit week 15 of the 12 month ‘Bogie Bulk Buy’ solar program and uptake in the Shire has been extraordinary. In just over three months the community-Council partnership has installed, or is scheduled to install 392kW of solar; with uptake from 77 households and businesses. This will see an estimated 18,734 tonnes of CO2 emissions avoided during the life of these solar systems, which are predicted to be active for 30 years. One of the more important outcomes for renewables in rural towns like Strathbogie is the flow on effect of energy savings to households. The community’s investment in the Bogie Bulk Buy in the last 15 weeks will mean an additional $176,000 remaining in local pockets each year. That’s over half a million kilowatt hours not being sourced from and paid to energy companies, and that money staying local to support local families and communities where it’s needed.

The strong enthusiasm for exploration and uptake of renewable energy options from residents has led Council to schedule a sixth free information session on Saturday 18 November. This session will focus on solar battery storage, which was recognised as a significant area of interest among residents, and will take place at Under the Sun cafe in the Strathbogie township.

The Climate Council will be attending this session to make a short film about the great things Strathbogie Shire are doing and hope to empower other rural and regional Shires to explore their energy futures.

Director of the Climate Council’s Cities Power Partnership, Alix Pearce said Climate Council is making the film as a way to show Australia how small, rural shires can achieve big things with renewables. “It’s an inspirational message; even though the Federal Government has stepped back on a clean energy target, pioneering councils such as Strathbogie are helping to bring renewable power to the people,” she said.

Strathbogie Shire Council was one of 35 councils to sign the Cities Power Partnership back in July this year. The Cities Power Partnership is a national program the Climate Council created to accelerate, celebrate and promote local . government successes in achieving carbon emission reductions.

Climate Council are very excited about Strathbogie Shire emerging as leaders of an empowered energy future and promoting local councils influencing issues that affect their residents. “Strathbogie’s Bulk Buy program could well end up as one of Victoria’s most successful solar bulk buys. This success will help other councils understand how they can support their residents get on board with renewable energy,” Alix said.

Strathbogie Shire Council Mayor Amanda McClaren said it has been great to see the community r t r embrace the initiative.

“Council is so pleased to have been able to smooth the way for our residents to explore and invest in their energy futures,” Cr McClaren said.

“Programs like these are all about enabling our residents to gain the knowledge and advice they need to make informed decisions about matters impacting their lives,” she said.

Battery Seminar details Date: Saturday, November 18 Time: 10.30am Venue: Under the Sun café, 14 Main Street, Strathbogie To make a booking, visit: https:// www.trybooking.com/SGCK

This article first appeared in the Euroa Gazette on 25 October 2017

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