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Solar panels to save cash and reduce emissions

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Rooftop solar panels will soon be installed at Gympie Regional Council’s Mary Street office, as part of Council’s commitment to reduce electricity costs and greenhouse gas emissions.

The 27kW system was expected to produce 40MWhs of electricity each year, saving thousands of dollars in electricity bills.

It would also reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 32 CO2-e tonnes per year, which is the equivalent to the annual emissions of 13 cars, or 8 households.

Councillor Dan Stewart, said that the installation of solar panels follows from energy audits undertaken at Council’s major buildings last year.

“These audits revealed that great strides had already been made by staff and facility managers, but that new opportunities would not only help the environment, but would also save Council money,” Cr Stewart said.

Cr Stewart said that the project is more than just solar panels, with an LED lighting upgrade having happened just last weekend.

“The project also involves upgrading to energy efficient lighting, installing electricity sub-meters so we can identify high electricity user groups, an audit of electric equipment, and education programs for staff on more efficient energy use.”

Cr Stewart said that Council’s Mary Street office is just a starting point.

“What we learn from this project will be applied to similar initiatives at other Council sites."

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