Carole Hammond, Sustainability Officer for Strathbogie Shire Council, talks about the wildly successful Bogie Bulk Buy.
Famous for Ned Kelly and Black Caviar, Strathbogie Shire in north-eastern Victoria is now becoming celebrated for something not commonly associated with an unassuming, sparsely privileged rural community.
Many Strathbogie residents experience energy poverty and stress. This winter’s cold snap saw older people living in older houses afraid to turn on the heating. To counter skyrocketing energy bills, we have launched a solar bulk buy program, to bring solar power to the people.
The Bogie Bulk Buy, as it’s known locally, helps Strathbogie residents to purchase bulk cost, quality-vetted solar systems to power their homes, businesses and farms. We’ve partnered with not-for-profit energy experts Yarra Energy Foundation and local provider Cherry Energy.
There has been huge enthusiasm for the program, with many residents interested in going off-grid and experiencing total energy freedom.
Predictions from Yarra Energy Foundation show that the program looks set to become one of Victoria’s more successful solar bulk buys.
A common misperception is that innovative renewable energy programs are the provenance of big city councils with cash to burn. The Bogie Bulk Buy shows that there is a huge appetite for renewable energy solutions in our corner of rural Australia.
Small shires such as Strathbogie are playing an important role in the climate solution – and, importantly, renewable energy will put hundreds of thousands of dollars back into our rural economy, instead of into the pockets of decentralized non-renewable, high emissions energy corporations.
And because we’re the lungs and lunchbox to the cities of Australia, that can only be a good thing for everyone.