Free power frees up his­tor­i­cally high costs

The Riverine Herald - - NEWS -

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).

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