Latrobe Community Power Hub Launched

Residents in the City of Latrobe, Baw Baw and Wellington Shires can now buy locally-made solar hot water systems, thanks to an investment by the Andrews Labor Government.

Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio was in Morwell to launch the Gippy Bulk Buy project, one of the first initiatives to be funded under the Gippsland Community Hubs Program.

The project provides an opportunity for the community to bulk-buy solar-powered hot water units made at Morwell’s worker-owned Earthworker Co-operative.

The solar hot water systems are estimated to be 20 per cent cheaper than the normal commercial price and will save customers between 30 and 50 per cent on their electricity costs once installed.

The project will create new manufacturing jobs as well as work for local electricians who will install the units.

All residents and businesses in the City of Latrobe, Baw Baw and Wellington Shires can access the bulk-buy services through the Community Power Hub over the next year – until June 2019.

The $900,000 Community Power Hubs program, which is being trialled for two years in Gippsland, Ballarat and Morwell, is helping communities take charge of their energy bills with major investments in renewables and energy efficiency upgrades.

The program is part of the Labor Government’s plan to reach its target of 40 per cent renewable energy by 2025 and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Details of information sessions about the Gippy Bulk Buy and how to get involved can be found at gippybulkbuy.com.  

Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio

“The Community Power Hubs program is helping communities use the skills and expertise they already have to develop renewable energy projects.”

“In Gippsland, projects like the Gippy Bulk Buy program will help produce cleaner, cheaper energy and create local jobs.”

Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing

“This bulk-buy program is developing a local solar hot water industry that will help bring down energy bills and alleviate cost-of-living pressures for families throughout the region.”