Solar panels a means to an end at Orange City Bowling Club

MONDAY's message was blunt: find ways to save money or there is no future.

That was the thinking behind Orange City Bowling Club’s decision to install $117,500 worth of solar panels.

“Around 400 clubs have closed or amalgamated in the last 10 years,” club treasurer Pat Egan said.

Out of these, 150 were bowling or golf clubs which facer higher running costs according to Mr Egan.

“Bowling clubs and golf clubs are significantly different to the other clubs they’ve got to provide sporting facilities, they’re huge costs,” he said.

“We’ve got to look at ways of improving our income and reducing costs to survive.”

Mr Egan said extra competition for the clubs has led to the need to reduce costs.

“Years ago before pubs could get poker machines clubs had no competition,” he said.

The solar panels lining the club’s roof are expected to provided 85 per cent of their power needs at maximum production.

“If you can save $30,000 to $40,000 a year it’s the best thing you’ve ever done,” Mr Egan said.

“It’s a magnificent investment and a great step forward for our club.

“It’s the only way to survive if you don’t cut your expenses you won’t survive.”

Costs for the major capital investment will be recouped within four years according to installation company Solar Co.

“It’s the largest solar panel system in the central west,” Solar Co commercial project manager Reg Henderson said.

Member for Orange Andrew Gee officially opened the new solar panels and congratulated the club on the initiative.

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