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Solar scheme to help pensioners cut power bills

Solar savers

Council is supporting an innovative new program that will help pensioners save money and power by installing solar panels.

Thursday 25 May 2017

Pensioners living in Mount Alexander Shire can now sign up for the pioneering Solar Savers program to install a solar energy system to save money on their electricity bill.

The program works by offering pensioners a special low-interest loan that has no upfront outlay and is gradually paid off over 10 years by power bill savings.

The Solar Savers program anticipates that every participating household will be at least $100 better off at the end of each year than they would be without the solar system. This means that after the ten year loan period, each household is at least $1,000 better off and owns a solar system outright.

Mayor of Mount Alexander Shire Sharon Telford said the program will help pensioners to save money and lower their carbon footprint.

“Council is very happy to be leading the way and helping local households in need with this pioneering program,” said Cr Telford.

“It will enable them to stay comfortable in extreme heat by running their fan or air conditioner without so much concern about the bill, as the solar system should be providing plenty of power to do the job,” she said.

“We know that pensioners often have the most to gain from solar power – many own their homes and use most of their power when the sun is shining. But the upfront cost can deter pensioners from going solar,” she said.

Solar Savers is also taking the complexity and confusion out of going solar, said project leader Scott McKenry, Executive Officer at the Eastern Alliance for Greenhouse Action (EAGA).

“Before they sign up, we do checks to make sure that solar is the right choice and will save them money. We also take care of finding a trusted installer and a quality, affordable solar system,” said Mr McKenry.

“Pensioners are getting the benefit of our years of solar expertise,” he said.

Solar Savers is being delivered on behalf of 20 Victorian councils and four greenhouse alliances including the Central Victorian Greenhouse Alliance. The program has been funded with a $760,000 grant through the Victorian Government New Energy Jobs Fund.

A Council planning permit will be required if the property is located within a Heritage Overlay and the solar panels will be visible from a street (other than a laneway) or public park.

For more information, contact Solar Savers on (03) 9385 8512 or www.solarsavers.org.au.

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