Free power frees up historically high costs
THE Echuca Historical Society’s high energy bills will be a thing of the past thanks to new solar panels installed on their museum roof last week.
The panels will cover 70 per cent of the museum’s energy needs and were funded through a $5000 grant from The Green Museum Project.
Project manager Simone Ewenson said the panels would save on energy costs and set a “shining example of sustainable operation” for the museum sector and regional Australia.
“We want to celebrate Echuca’s historical society for leading the way in the community,” Simone said.
“What they’re doing is very forward thinking, especially when some councils need a bit of a kick up the bum when it comes to sustainability.”
When Simone completed an energy audit of the museum she found it was more environmentally friendly than other museums.
“They were doing exceptionally well and their bills were quite reasonable but we wanted to make them even better,” she said.
Historical society president Dot Hammond said the money being saved on energy bills would help ease the museum’s tight budget.
“We want to be here for the long term. Hopefully this will keep us under control for the next 10 years at least. It will free up money for collection care, which is ongoing and very expensive,” she said.
Dot and her fellow volunteers work to preserve the history of Echuca and its surrounds, managing a vast collection of objects, photographs and documents related to the early riverboat era.
“I’ve been working her now for 17 years and I still can’t find everything. Fair dinkum, there’s always something new to be found,’’ she said.
The Green Museum Project was an initiative of the Victorian branch of Museums Australia and funded by the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation with additional support from Creative Victoria.
Grant priorities have been given to accredited museums such as EHS, which took an energy and lighting audit to establish baseline energy saving measures.
EHS used the audit results to meet conservation standards and will create and implement an Environmental Sustainability Policy over the coming weeks.
PLUGGED IN: At EHS for the big day were, from left, Ryan Wagner (Long's Electrical), Simone Ewenson (Green Museum Project manager), Dot Hammond (EHS president) and Will Rosenow (Long's).