Ararat Rural City Council has a plan to help households and businesses reduce energy bills across the municipality through a new solar bulk-buy program.
Through Council’s involvement with the Central Victorian Greenhouse Alliance, Ararat Rural City households can install solar, take control of their bills and protect themselves from future price rises.
CEO Dr Tim Harrison is pleased with the opportunity that More Australian Solar Homes (MASH) offers the local community.
“Council recognises there is demand for solar energy but many residents are put off by upfront costs and navigating the complexities of getting the right system,” said Dr Harrison.
“Under the MASH program, residents will have access high-quality solar at good value prices, making it easier to install an effective rooftop solar system.
Eligible homeowners and renters can access the State Government rebate and interest-free loan of up to $3,700, significantly reducing the out-of-pocket cost of a typical 3.7kW system to under $1,000. Following recent changes, small business owners also have the opportunity to reap the benefits of renewable energy by accessing the Victorian Government’s Solar for Business Program.
“Council recognises it’s a big investment and encourages residents who are interested to speak with MASH and figure out if investing in solar panels or a battery is the right choice for them,” he added.
MASH project lead Jo Kaptein said local installers and local community groups are set to benefit from the program too.
“At MASH, we’re looking to work closely with Ararat Rural City installers to promote local job opportunities,” said Ms Kaptein.
“The program aims to donate $5,000 in solar grants to eligible local organisations – more details on the grant program will be released in coming months as the program gets underway.”
“Knowing where your energy comes from and how much it’s costing means residents can make smart decisions for their household or business,” Dr Harrison continued.
“Across Ararat Rural City, 23 per cent of homes have adopted solar compared with the national average of 27 per cent, meaning there’s room for more households to benefit.
“Not only are solar panels more sustainable and energy-efficient but these systems often pay for themselves in the long run.
“Solar has the ability to provide low-cost energy throughout the day, meaning residents can cool their homes during heatwaves without the price tag, further protecting our community.
“It’s a true community-driven project and hopes residents will embrace the challenge to reduce energy costs to create a better future,” Dr Harrison concluded.
MASH Solar Bulk-Buy is delivered by the not-for-profit organisation Central Victorian Greenhouse Alliance, which supports councils across central and north western Victoria.
Further information is available via www.mash.org.au/ararat or call 1300 466 274.