Geelong Sustainability has been appointed to encourage and support communities across Victoria’s south-west to increase the uptake of renewable energy projects.
It will collaborate with a variety of community organisations to form the Barwon South West Community Power Hub having secured a grant of $500,000.
The Hub is one of seven being established across Victoria as part of a $3.73million program being delivered by Sustainability Victoria on behalf of the Victorian Government.
Geelong Sustainability president Vicki Perrett said “We are delighted to be spearheading this project which will reduce energy costs for households, small businesses and community services organisations.”
“The Community Power Hub will also work with communities previously precluded from investing in renewable energy, such as low-income households and apartment dwellers who can now be part of an initiative that will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase community take-up of renewable energy in Victoria.”
Ms Perrett explained that community groups rely on volunteers and don’t have the time, skills, expertise or finances to complete community energy projects on their own.
Geelong Sustainability committee member and spokesperson for the Community 00408 Power Hub, Dan Cowdell said the first implementation project is the installation of solar energy at the YMCA Newtown Stadium which will be funded by a “community energy revolving fund”.
“The revolving fund will be important because it provides interest-free loans to not-for-profit community organisations seeking to install renewable energy systems, undertake energy efficient upgrades, switch away from fossil fuels or upgrade to electric vehicles”.
Mr Cowdell said Geelong Sustainability is recruiting staff to undertake the project across the Barwon South West region which ranges from as far west as Portland and into the Southern Grampians.
About Geelong Sustainability
Geelong Sustainability is a dynamic and passionate community group focused on sharing information, building community resilience, advocating for the environment and supporting effective action for a low carbon future.