Council officially switched on its solar panel systems last week, with 252 panels installed across Council’s highest energy consuming sites.
In February installation took place with panels installed at the Hunter Valley Visitor Information, Cessnock Library and Council’s Administration Building.
Council’s General Manager Lotta Jackson said it’s fantastic progress and use of Council’s savings under the Revolving Energy Fund.
“In 2015 Council established the Revolving Energy Fund. The purpose of this fund was to establish an internal loan system for investing in energy efficiency. All savings made from investments are returned to the fund and can be re-invested into the next energy saving projects.”
“It’s a great cost saving for Council with it estimated to save $12,000 per year on Council’s electricity bill for the Administration Building and all systems will be paid off from savings in 5.5 years.”
The fund has seen Council undertake some fantastic projects including replacing fluorescent lights with LEDs across many Council sites. This included the Works Depot, the Hunter Valley Visitor Information Centre, Cessnock Aerodrome, Cessnock Performing Arts Centre and Cessnock City Library
Since the installation of the LED lights in the administration building our monthly electricity bill has reduced by about $1,000. These savings are being put straight back into the fund. Council will have covered the cost of the installation in three years if this rate of saving continues.
Both community and staff can view the output of the solar panels and get an idea of how much energy the panels generate with screens installed in public locations displaying this information.
Council plans to install more solar panels on the Cessnock Performing Arts Centre and Kurri Kurri Library using the next savings of the Revolving Energy Fund.