EnergyAustralia – one of Australia’s three major electricity retailers – is launching a $15 million AUD program with the goal of helping charities cut their power bills by as much as 50% by installing free solar panels and battery systems.
The company will initially carry out a series of energy audits for participating charities to identify how they can become more energy efficient. It will then install rooftop solar and battery systems, smart energy management networks, and provide advice for upgrading their electrical appliances.
“We believe with the right approach and technology, it’s possible to dramatically reduce annual electricity bills for eligible properties by as much as 50%,” said Andrew Perry, EnergyAustralia executive – NextGen. “When we find ways for a charity to spend less on electricity it means more of the funds raised can go towards helping vulnerable people in need.”
The company will also link these solar systems and batteries to create a ‘virtual power plant’ that can provide extra electricity to the grid at peak times. EnergyAustralia stated that as more charities join, “the initiative could eventually create one of Australia’s largest ‘virtual power plants’,” which removes the need to build large, centralized power stations and instead relies on multiple small renewable systems acting as one to generate power.
About $5 million AUD in funding will be committed to the ‘Power for Good’ program every year for the next three years. The program will be funded through the sale of renewable energy certificates – which are generated by companies that produce renewable energy – to other electricity retailers.