Innovative way for communities to save from solar

In 2015/16 MEFL’s Positive Charge team worked with Moreland City Council to trial an innovative funding mechanism, which allows community groups to realise immediate cash savings from installing solar panels.

The pilot provided 4 community groups who lease their premises from council the ability to install solar panels and repay the costs over a period that ensures repayments will be less than the savings. Positive Charge worked with the groups to assess the number of panels required to meet their energy usage and calculate the expected savings.

Moreland City Council installed the panels and will be responsible for their maintenance, leaving the community groups to focus on what really matters.

What had been achieved?

  • Glenroy Bowls Club are expected to save over $1,000 annually whilst repayments are made and over $5,000 each year after from their 20.67kW system
  • Moreland Community Child Care Centre (Dunstan’s Reserve) are expected to save over $400 annually whilst repayments are made and over $2,500 each year after from their 11.18kW system
  • Glenroy Neighbourhood Learning Centre are expected to save over $1,000 whilst repayments are made and around $5,000 each year after from their 17.68kW system
  • Coburg Table Tennis Club are expected to save over $800 annually whilst repayments are made and over $3,000 each year after from their 10.92kW system.

These installations helped the Zero Carbon Evolution program achieve its target of solar on 10 community/school buildings in 2015/16.

What happens next?

The groups will repay the upfront costs of their solar into a revolving fund, enabling more groups to benefit.  The program will be rolled out to more of Moreland’s community groups in 2016/17.

Positive Charge are continuing to support the community groups save energy and money. They have already helped Coburg Table Tennis Club save an estimated $1,000 annually by switching energy providers. They are also planning a range of events to ensure community groups and their members can access the information they need to save energy and money.

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