Energising own electricity

BWNG CEO, Anna Burley with Energise Gloucester committee members Di Montague, Jim De Silva, Stefanie Pillora, Pat Burrows, David Marston and Kerry Marston.
BWNG CEO, Anna Burley with Energise Gloucester committee members Di Montague, Jim De Silva, Stefanie Pillora, Pat Burrows, David Marston and Kerry Marston.

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Energise Gloucester’s first major project has received a financial boost through a community grant from a electricity retailer.

The proposal to install a 31 kilowatt (kW) solar system on the building owned by the Bucketts Way Neighbourhood Group (BWNG) has been chosen to receive $10,000 from Powershop’s Your Community Energy initiative.

The BWNG is one of six new recipients to receive funding from the project designed to support local communities to generate their own energy.

“Powershop customers have collectively contributed more than $100,000 to support local green energy projects which proves how important renewable energy is to customers,” Powershop chief executive officer (CEO), Ed McManus said.

“The Bucketts Way Neighbourhood Centre was chosen to receive $10,000 because they provide great services to the community and the reduction in electricity costs enables them to utilise more funds for their core business – supporting the community,” Ed added.

Energise Gloucester chair, David Marston said the committee is very thankful to Powershop for the assistance.

“It’s a great opportunity,” he said.

“The 30kW solar system is expected to generate more electricity than the group consumes on a daily basis for seven to eight months of the year and halve the electricity costs to the centre.”

The plan is for Engerise Gloucester to complete the installation of the system and sell electricity to the centre at a greatly reduced rate, then after three or four years the BWNG will own the system.

But the fundraising isn’t over yet; the committee still needs another $18,500 before the system can be installed.

The total system will cost $41,000; the committee has secured $10,500 from Federal Government’s renewal initiatives, the $10,000 from Powershop and a personal local donation of $2000.

Energise Gloucester is hoping the remaining funds will come via community donations or low interest loans.

“For example, we have had an offer of $5000 for four years at no cost,” David explained.

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Powershop will be at the Sustainable Futures Convention to be held in Gloucester on March 25 and 26, with information about other projects they have funded.

“The way energy is generated, how it travels to our homes and how we pay for it, is going to change dramatically in our lifetime,” Ed explained. 

“At Powershop we believe we can play a role in helping local community groups around Australia embark on their own local renewable energy installations. Our customers have already contributed $100,000 by paying a small premium when they purchase the Your Community Energy powerpack and the amount keeps growing. We want to give this money to community energy projects that can help drive more green energy in their community,” Ed added.    

To offer assistance to the Energise Gloucester project contact infor@energisegloucester.org