Evandale community centre flicks switch on solar

Marco Del Grande
Marco Del Grande

The Evandale Tourist Information Centre transitioned to solar power last week after receiving a long-awaited state government grant.

The Evandale community centre waited two years to receive the $12,000 funding needed to install the solar panels, with the grant recently confirmed by Minister for Resources Guy Barnett.

Centre chairman John Lewis said the community centre made the switch from traditional power sources to cut its growing power expenses. 

Mr Lewis said power bills last year amounted to $4000, and that this was becoming too great of a burden to bare for the self-funded volunteer centre.

After the complete transition to renewable energy, Mr Lewis believes the centre’s power bills will be cut in half. 

Northern Midlands mayor David Downie was on-hand to cut the ceremonial ribbon at an official ceremony.

“We just had a quick ceremony to celebrate the cutting of our power bills, which is really helpful for us,” Mr Lewis said.

“We hope the other community centres [in the Northern Midlands] do the same thing to cut their costs.”

The information centre’s problem with energy costs is common to properties across the state.

Tasmania has the second most expensive energy prices in the country, according to a July report from WattClarity.

This has lead Hydro Tasmania to announce plans to develop vastly increased pumped hydro capabilities to help decrease statewide energy prices.

This proposal also outlines plans for Tasmania to become the “battery of Australia”, by supplying energy to other states.

Councillor Downie said more homes and businesses should consider switching to renewable energy.

“It’s a wonderful initiative for the community members to be able to reduce their power bill,” he said. 

“Power prices are going up in Australia, and the energy companies haven’t managed the energy sector very well.

“Renewable energy is creating options for the individual to take some control back about the prices of their energy. 

“We should all be looking at harnessing the energy from the sun.”