It's All Smiles With Solar

When Jill shares her excitement at having solar installed at home through Port Phillip’s Solar Bulk Buy Program, her friends tend to glaze over. “They think climate change is nonsense, they’re in denial”.

Jill, who has just turned 80, is a self-confessed ‘greenie’. She’s been composting and eating organic since the 70’s, before it was cool to compost and eat organic. I was intrigued why it had taken her so long to go solar.

Like many home owners, it had crossed her mind but she dismissed it as too complicated and expensive. The reality couldn’t have been more different, it took 3 months in total for applications and installation and she felt supported by Council and the installation company throughout.

“I met Brett Hedger, Greenhouse Programs Officer at Port Phillip, who recommended the solar bulk buy program and that started the ball rolling”.

Jill was also pleasantly surprised to find that the total cost of installing a 2kW system with 6 panels was under $4k. There’s no questioning the authenticity of her smile as she shows off her electricity bills, coming in at a measly $20 per quarter.

Living in a picture postcard Victorian terrace in South Melbourne, Jill had been concerned that heritage overlay would scupper her solar plans but that wasn’t the case. She was advised on the best position to place the panels, to maximise the sun’s power whilst complying with heritage overlay requirements.

Council’s Solar Bulk Buy Program supported 106 residents to install rooftop solar panels to their homes, resulting in:

•             374 KW of solar panels installed

•             $910,990 of investment by residents to reduce their own greenhouse gas emissions

•             10,380 tonnes of CO2-e saved.  

The Program was delivered through the Sustainable City Community Action Plan, which aims to support our community to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, water use and waste.

The City of Port Phillip has a very low rate of roof top solar installations compared to the rest of Australia, this program reduced the up-front cost of installation and provided trusted advice and support to participants.

To find out more about solar at home click here. Planning is currently underway to deliver a 2018/19 Solar Bulk Buy Program focusing on owner’s corporations and businesses.