100 Go Solar

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World Environment Day was celebrated today with the launch of 100 Go Solar at the Green Building Centre in Byron Bay. This community initiative was launched by Pam and Martin Brook of Brookfarm, who are Silver Status winners of the Sustainability Advantage Award from the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage.

Vicki Brooke of 100 Go Solar commented “We’re thrilled Pam and Martin can lead the way or businesses in Byron Shire to switch to solar. It makes perfect economic and environmental sense for businesses to go solar.”

“Whilst there has been a terrific take up on the domestic side of solar, business is lagging behind with just 25% of installations of new solar installations are for businesses.”

The solar initiative grew out of a frustration with the lack of businesses taking up solar options and a drive to make the change as simple as possible.

Byron Shire Council have come on board with the project as well as part of their Green Keys Initiative backed by Green Building Centre. The purpose of the program is to help local businesses to become ‘sustainable’ in their operations.

One of the critical factors is to get landlords and landowners involved, by keeping it simple for them to access and finance it’s a win win for both landlords and tenants with savings from day one benefiting both parties.

Martin Brook spoke of his slight trepidation when Brookfarm first embarked on their solar installation of 288 panels on the factory roof. However, he said they had never looked back and using their tracking system estimated they had saved 40% on power bills in the first 2 years and forecast that the system will have paid for itself within 4 years.

Alison Crook of Enova Energy then spoke about their vision of providing tailored solutions for businesses both large and small to enable them to go solar. She also spoke passionately about the societal benefits of solar and their commitment to ensure community and not for profit groups don’t get left behind.

So the challenge is launched today to get 100 businesses in the Byron Shire on solar. To enter register through the website www.100gosolar.com.au or email info@100gosolar.com.au. Then follow three easy steps:
(1) book an energy audit or seek advice from a supplier (to ensure energy efficiency)
(2) choose a solar supplier from the recommended list on the 100 Go Solar website and
(3) sign up for great savings.

There are also finance options available from Summerland and Banana Coast Credit Unions, to help with upfront capital costs of a solar system.

Keeping it Local

One of the unique things about the project is that 100 Go Solar is a non-profit community initiative using local suppliers and installers to help local businesses benefit from solar. A refreshing change in the power market.

Businesses registered with 100 Go Solar who switch on their solar will go into the monthly draw for great prizes, with extensive publicity for both businesses and prize givers.

Local businesses have already stepped up to the challenge with generous prizes including vouchers for lunch and dinner, computer hardware, accommodation, eco-friendly paint, marketing appraisal and discount telco services.

100 Go Solar is supported by Byron Shire Council, Green Building Centre and the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage. For further information: Vicki Brooke 0425 243 860 vjbrooke@tpg.com.au

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