New solar scheme

Solar Savers'' Anastasia Gramatakos and Anna Imberger.

By Romy Stephens

A new program will provide Yarra Ranges residents access to affordable solar PV systems through a Council-backed provider.

The Solar Savers program was launched at the Yarra Ranges Council’s Liveable Homes in a Changing Climate event on 4 December.

Previously, the program provided pensioners with access to solar panels and installations at no upfront cost, with a low-interest rate loan to be repaid over 10 years.

Yarra Ranges Mayor Richard Higgins said the program has since expanded so any homeowner in the region can register to express interest.

“The use of solar panels on homes has grown massively in the last few years, as has the number of businesses in Australia providing solar PV systems, so it can be hard to know how to go about installing them,” Cr Higgins said.

“Residents going through the Solar Savers program will be assessed to make sure that a system would suit their energy needs.

“They’ll be talked through the entire process and given a quote before any work begins and they’ll have a number of options when it comes to their repayment.”

Cr Higgins said the program had already proven successful.

“We’re proud to be part of the program, along with nine other Councils, and we’ve already seen great results with 39 systems installed on homes across Yarra Ranges in recent years.”

The Liveable Homes in a Changing Climate event was held at the Mooroolbark Community Centre to help people learn how to save power, reduce bills and understand solar.

Guest speakers included John Shiel, Glen Morris and Anna Imberger.

Yarra Ranges Council’s sustainability manager, Jess Rae, said learning about energy efficiency can help residents improve their lifestyle as they understand the best options available.

“There’s a lot of information on the market so sometimes it’s hard to know who’s actually a good solar panel installer and what are good solar panels,” she said.

“It’s important that Council can be that trusted source for people.”

For more information on Solar Savers, visit solarsavers.org.au.

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