Victorian communities are seeing reduced power bills due to the solar and battery installations under the Victorian Government’s Solar on Public Buildings Program.

Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio, announced 50 sites have had solar installed under the program with a further 55 approved for installation over the coming months.

Under the program 300 public buildings on Crown land are being assessed for solar panels and battery systems.

“This is a great example of how we’re delivering real action on climate change in regional Victoria by investing in local projects that will help communities build thriving and sustainable futures,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.

“Our strong investment in renewable energy and solar energy systems is creating local jobs, reducing power bills and helping us achieve our ambitious emissions reduction targets.”

“This is a terrific outcome for the community, the environment and our hardworking volunteer committees which are the backbone of small communities across Victoria.”

Many community groups are already seeing cost savings thanks to reduced power bills after receiving their solar energy systems, including Everton Upper Community Centre, Simpson Recreation Reserve, Wonwondah Recreation Reserve, Elmore Recreation Reserve and the Myrtleford Golf Club.

Solar panels and a backup battery system have also recently been installed at the Eskdale Recreation Reserve which will maintain power during bushfires and other emergencies.

Mongans Bridge Caravan Park, near Mount Beauty, will save almost $4000 a year after solar panels were installed in September.

The Fawcett Hall Committee of Management, near Alexandra, will reinvest savings from its new solar system into further upgrades for the hall.

The program was first trialled in Gippsland from 2017 to 2019 and led to solar systems being installed on 69 buildings on public land, reducing power bills by an average of 81 per cent, with savings to volunteer committees of about $260,000 per year.

The $9.2 million Solar on Public Buildings Program covers the cost of site assessments, the supply and installation of solar PV systems on buildings managed by volunteers on Crown Land.

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