EIGHT Ballarat community organisations have been handed a near $500,000 lifeline of new Victorian Government funding to install solar energy.
In a move which Wendouree MP Juliana Addison said was a win both for short term jobs and long term security of critical organisations, the organisations will be funded as part of a $15.3 million package.
The organisations include Child and Family Services (CAFS) who will receive $30,000 to install solar power systems on their site.
Others to win funding are McCallum Disability Services who will install panels on eight social housing sites, the Ballarat Cemetery Trust who will receive $80,000 to install a battery to powers in crematorium and UnitingCare who will also use the systems on social housing.
Sporting organisations have also been funded, including The Ballarat Table Tennis Association and the Ballarat Squash and Racquetball Club which will have the systems installed.
Some businesses expect to save up to $8000 a year.
The eight projects were identified and developed by the Ballarat Renewable Energy and Zero Emissions Inc (BREAZE) through Ballarat's Community Power Hub Program which called for submissions from organisations.
BREAZE spokesman Peter Reid said it was a three year process in coordinating the funding.
"BREAZE likes this program for a multitude of reasons, one, it reduces greenhouse gases for solar energy which is really good for the organisation as it reduces their costs," he said.
"For any not-for-profits, usually they are capital strained and so any reduction in expenditure is good in the long term.
READ MORE: Ballarat Cemeteries switching to renewables
"Social housing is a really important social equity program and that is crucial in that the benefits go to the people who are quite often on things like Job Seeker and it gives them more of a chance to look for work in that they don't have the worry about paying for energy."
CAFS chief executive Wendy Sturgess said the news of the funding had brightened an already sunny day.
"We're delighted to get these solar panels as CAFS has a commitment to being more sustainable and this money to put in the panels on the residential houses and other places we provide services to is money that we wouldn't normally be able to access.
"Utility bills are significant for us, like many in the community, so the ability to reduce these bills is phenomenal,."
Wendouree MP Juliana Addison the organisations were about community engagements.
"This funding will allow them to take charge of their energy consumption and direct the savings back to the community where it's needed most," she said.
"Communities are doing it tough right now, so it's really heartening to see Ballarat and the wider community be empowered to generate not just renewable energy but savings and jobs, all the while reducing emissions."
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