Strathbogie Shire Council in regional Victoria recently launched a solar power bulk-buy program to help residents beat soaring energy bills.
The Council has partnered with not-for-profit organisation Yarra Energy Foundation (YEF) to form ‘Bogie Bulk Buy’. The bulk-buy program will run until 30 June 2018.
The decision to launch the program came after many local residents experienced increasingly costly power bills. This led to some residents – seniors in particular – being reluctant to turn on their heating during winter.
More about the Bogie Bulk Buy
The bulk buy program began about eight weeks ago, designed specifically for a rural farming community. It combines independent solar energy information along with quality solar products.
The Council claims 150kW of solar power has already been allocated to residents. The plan has stopped 7,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases and saved households around $67,000.
Shire Mayor Cr Amanda McLaren says residents are embracing the program enthusiastically. She says it’s a “common misconception” that successful renewable energy programs only happen in big cities.
Cr McLaren also expects the increased use of renewables to put “hundreds of thousands of dollars” back into the local rural economy.
About Strathbogie Shire and its sustainability goals
Strathbogie Shire is in central Victoria’s Hume region, some 150 km from Melbourne. The Strathbogie Ranges border the shire to the west, which contains several rural towns.
The shire is a member of the Climate Council’s Cities Power Partnership (CPP). Its activities as a CPP partner include providing farms, homeowners and businesses with expert information on renewable energy through YEF.
Council is also currently involved in the installation of electric vehicle charging stations in the town of Euroa. Evaluation will occur at a later stage and may lead to additional installations across the region.
Council also conducts seminars and information sessions in local rural towns for businesses interested in solar power.
Cr McLaren said Council is keen to make a difference for its residents and also to reduce global greenhouse emissions. Council is developing future plans for greater energy efficiency and sustainability in the region.