In a world first, Australia’s most famous street for Christmas lights has gone solar in order to offset the cost of rising electricity prices.
Each year the residents of Borgnis Street in the Sydney suburb of Davidson go to great expense and devote hundreds of hours to adorn their houses with festive cheer in order to raise much needed funds for children’s hospice charity, Bear Cottage.
The initiative sees national solar provider, Energy Matters, donating free solar systems to all the houses with Christmas lights so the residents can offset the energy needed to power the legendary lights.
“The residents of Borgnis Street love raising everyone’s spirits with our famous Christmas lights,” commented Neville Drake, Borgnis Street resident and spokesperson. “Lifting spirits is just one aspect, we take greater pride in raising money for the children’s hospice, Bear Cottage. Last year we raised $35,000 and for us, that’s the true spirit of Christmas; giving.”
“While we are thrilled that our lights bring so much joy each year, the cost of lighting our street does come at a substantial cost, which has ballooned significantly over the past five years. When Energy Matters offered the residents of Borgnis Street free solar systems to offset these rising costs and offered to raise money for Bear Cottage, we thought all our Christmases had come at once!”
Each Borgnis Street residents with Christmas lights has been given free of charge a 1.75kW system valued at $4677. “The size of this system will not only help offset the cost of running the street’s lights this Christmas, it will do so for the next 25 years and beyond,” said Energy Matters Founding Director Nick Brass.
“And when their panels aren’t powering Christmas, they will easily run the home’s basic electrical needs such as the fridge, washing machine and standby appliances during daylight hours. The residents can expect savings of at least $400-600 each year from their electricity bills.”
With electricity prices soaring, an independent study of 1,506 Australians * has revealed the extent of electricity price rises over the past 12 months; ¼ of those surveyed had seen a 20% increase, 1 in 5 a 30% increase, while 15% had experienced a 50% increase or more. Bill shocks have been so great that 38% of those surveyed said Christmas would be much leaner this year. Young families with mainly preschool aged kids said they were finding it toughest with 46% stating Christmas would be much leaner in 2012.
Energy Matters’ commitment to the residents of Borgnis Street has extended to also supporting Bear Cottage. During the month of December, Energy Matters will donate $100 for every new solar system sold.
“We are so excited that Borgnis Street’s Christmas lights will be brighter than ever in 2012,” commented Neville Drake. “Not only have the residents made a commitment to lessen their carbon footprint and raise the bar with our fund raising efforts, we’ll even have our very own ‘Solar Claus’. Yes, Santa’s gone’ green’ in support of the environment and will be making nightly appearances in his beach themed grotto. The kids will love him, so make sure you get a photo. All it costs is a gold coin donation to Bear Cottage.”
*Energy Matters conducted a national survey of 1506 consumers through the Digital Edge between 6 and 9 November 2012. The results were weighted according to age, gender, location and household income.
ABOUT ENERGY MATTERS
Energy Matters is one of Australia’s largest companies solely dedicated to solar energy with warehouses around the country and a staff of over 100. The award winning business was founded in 2005 and has since installed over 15,000 solar systems on homes, schools and commercial buildings, including Australia’s largest privately funded solar photovoltaic project – a 200kW rooftop array in Sydney. Energy Matters is committed to helping Australians live in a world of energy abundance by providing quality solar systems at affordable prices. Its nationwide team of passionate and knowledgeable solar advocates, expert installers and reputable brands are the foundation of its success.
Energy Matters is 100% Australian owned and sources only products which have been tested in Australia’s harsh conditions. With expertise in both grid connect and stand-alone power, Energy Matters is able to provide flexible clean energy solutions to fit almost all needs.
To learn more or join the thousands of Australians who have already gone solar, visit www.energymatters.com.au .
ABOUT BEAR COTTAGE
Bear Cottage is NSW’s only children’s hospice, located on the grounds of St Patrick’s Estate, Manly in Sydney. Bear Cottage offer both respite and palliative care to children and young people with life limiting illnesses and their families.
In addition to providing palliative care facilities for children, Bear Cottage contains the amenities of a comfortable home, with 10 children’s bedrooms, family accommodation and a quiet room. There are also areas for recreation including a spa room, multi-sensory room and teens’ room. Families do not pay to stay at Bear Cottage.
The location of Bear Cottage at Manly ensures children and families can rest in quiet surroundings or enjoy the attractions and amenities nearby of one of Sydney’s traditional beach holiday destinations.
Most families staying at Bear Cottage come for respite with the length of stays up to two weeks. Families using Bear Cottage for end of life care may stay as long as necessary.
Bear Cottage was established entirely by the community and continues to rely on the community for funding.