The installation of solar panels on social housing properties in Ballarat is helping to cut electricity bills for residents and reduce emissions.
Ballarat Renewable Energy and Zero Emissions (BREAZE) has installed 35 kW of solar on a number of social housing properties this year as part of its Social Solar program.
The program uses seed funding from community donations to seek grant contributions to complete the projects.
It is easy for solar power to be taken up by people who are well off but we would like to spread it around.- Jeremy Hunt, BREAZE public fund committee chair
BREAZE public fund committee char Jeremy Hunt said another 68 kW of solar is expected to be installed on social housing properties later this year.
"It is easy for solar power to be taken up by people who are well off but we would like to spread it around," he said.
"We think the program is great because it does reduce emissions and we are trying to help people who otherwise wouldn't be able to save on their power."
Social Solar has also received a grant to install 20 to 25 kW of solar on the Old Colonsists' Association's Ballarat retirement village community centre and several cottages in the village.
Past projects include the installation of solar panels on Uniting Ballarat's Wendouree Op Shop and on McCallum Disability Services and Ballarat Regional Industries buildings.
Funding from the state government, aMAZEing Ballarat, Buninyong's Smart Building and Living Expo and Bank Australia has supported the projects, in combination with community donations to BREAZE's One Dollar For One Watt campaign.
BREAZE's public fund committee identifies worthy recipients and willing donors, sizes the required solar panels for the recipients, applies to donor organisations for more funds and organises the installation.
Mr Hunt said BREAZE would investigate the effectiveness of adding other carbon reducing technologies for social housing, such as batteries and heat pumps for hot water, in the future.
"BREAZE hopes renewable energy from wherever you get it is going to be universally accessible," he said.
"All of these projects will provide work for local industry as well as reduce carbon emissions and provide money for people in social housing."
Tex deductible donations can be made on the BREAZE website, breaze.org.au/.
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