DRIFTWOOD Café Owner Ty Simons has backed a local campaign calling on home and business owners to embrace renewable energy.
Local action group 100% Clean Bellarine has teamed up with ‘Solar Marketplace’ ShineHub to deliver Geelong’s first Community Solar program across the Bellarine.
The program is a month-long roadshow offering free, unbiased expert advice on how to cut electricity bills by up to 90 per cent.
To date, there has been about 900 sign-ups for the events which are happening across the City of Greater Geelong, Colac Otway Shire and Golden Plains Shire.
About 150 people attended an event held in Geelong on Monday, more than 100 people signed up for an event in Drysdale on Tuesday, and there are at least 70 sign-ups for an event to be held in Barwon Heads on June 3.
Mr Simons is 100 per cent behind the program and is in fact leading the way after installing 96 solar panels on his business.
“They’ve been here for about two weeks and they are generating power for me on a sunny day, which is great,” he said.
“We looked at it a couple of years ago and it looked like it was going to generate about 20 per cent of our power, but technology has changed dramatically in two years so it’s going to generate about 35 per cent now for the same amount of panels.
“Pricing-wise, it was a $35,000 investment but we are paying that off at $7,500 a year, and yet we are going to save $8,500 a year in electricity costs, so it’s not going to cost us anymore and in four and a half years we will have paid it off and then we’ll be saving that money.”
Mr Simons said there had to be a change in regards to adopting renewable energy and that there had to be people who would lead in that change.
“To think the Bellarine could be one of those leaders is wonderful news.
“I want to show people it’s (solar power) easily done and it’s just a matter of getting on board.”
The Community Solar program aims to implement a people-powered solution to Australia’s energy crisis that supports local jobs, suppliers and community groups.
The innovative schemes that will be offered exclusively through the Geelong Community Solar Program will help homeowners cut through the confusion of selecting a solar system and/or supplier, to access a better deal and ultimately – to drastically reduce their electricity bills.
If people are keen to sign up for the remaining events they should head to the 100% Clean Bellarine Facebook page at facebook.com/100CleanBellarine