Orange council takes a shine to solar panels

ORANGE City councillor Reg Kidd believes the success of new solar panels installed on the roof of council’s works depot should serve as inspiration for other Orange businesses and clubs to investigate how solar panels can save them money while helping the environment.

Cr Kidd said council installed a 35 kilowatt solar system, consisting of 140 solar panels, last October and in the first quarter it had helped save a whopping $5163.46 in electricity costs compared with the same period last year.

“Whether it's the local coffee shop or mechanic, or if the business is big or small, now is the time to look into solar panels that can help decrease your electricity bills because it’s guaranteed to save money, not to mention the environmental benefits,” he said.

“But it’s not just businesses that can benefit. Sporting clubs like Emus and Duntryleague Golf Club should seriously look into solar panels as well. The options are endless.”

Council’s works depot solar panels were installed through council’s revolving energy fund and cost $60,000.

According to Cr Kidd, it will only take around seven years to pay back the cost of the panels, with all savings going back into the revolving energy fund that will be used for more projects such as this.

“The cost here [at the works depot] was around $15,000 a quarter before the solar panels were installed, and the fact we’ve been able to save more than $5000 in the first quarter is great,” he said.

“I also have solar panels at home and worked out it would take around six or seven years to pay the money back. I believe it will be around the same time frame here before we start making money out of it.”

Orange City Council spokesman Alan Reeder said that other successful solar panel projects in Orange included Yarrawong Children’s Centre and Occasional Care Centre.

“The savings will be carefully monitored and put back into the revolving energy fund for the next project,” he said.

luke.schuyler@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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