ONE of Torquay’s leading surf brands is trying to do its part to help the environment, and is seeing an improvement to its power bills at the same time.
Rip Curl first installed a 30kw, 120-panel solar array on one of its Torquay warehouses, and followed this up with a 100kw, 400-panel array on the roof of the neighbouring headquarters and retail store.
Rip Curl operations manager Sam O’Dwyer said the surf brand took its first steps on the “new energy journey” about two years ago.
“We’ve done lots of work on sustainability of product, recycling and environmental impact, but energy is new.
“Community and the environment are one of our five pillars as a business. We want to minimise our impact on the environment as well as being leaders and early adopters in the local community. And energy costs were going up, and solar costs were coming down. We were facing some real pressure on our operating costs.”
Rip Curl teamed with Eco Choice Solar on the project, which also saw the company updating all its interior and exterior lighting to LED.
Over 12 months, Rip Curl has seen a 17 per cent reduction in energy costs, and saved 150 tonnes of carbon.
Surf Coast Shire mayor David Bell and chief executive officer Keith Baillie inspected the installation last week.
Cr Bell said the Surf Coast Renewable Energy Taskforce – of which he is a member – commended Rip Curl on the instalment.
“The reality is that any business operating during daylight hours will benefit financially from the install of solar, the reduction in bills are significant and the typical payback period is less than seven years.
“To assist more business to do the same, in early 2019 the Surf Coast Renewable Energy Taskforce will be running a free information breakfast to explain how solar can benefit your business.”