So­lar to bring cost sav­ings

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News -

An ‘ex­cit­ing’ de­vel­op­ment at East Grampians Health Ser­vice will see huge cost sav­ings re­sult­ing in more money be­ing rein­vested back into the ser­vice.

A fea­si­bil­ity study con­ducted by Com­mu­nity Power Hub Bal­larat iden­ti­fied an op­por­tu­nity to re­duce grow­ing power costs at East Grampians Health Ser­vice through the im­ple­men­ta­tion of two so­lar projects across four lo­ca­tions at its Ararat and Wil­laura cam­puses.

East Grampians Health Ser­vice chief ex­ec­u­tive An­drew Free­man said elec­tric­ity costs had al­most dou­bled in the past two years.

“Com­mu­nity Power Hub Bal­larat did an as­sess­ment of the renewable en­ergy op­tions avail­able to us and came up with a model to re­duce our costs through the in­stal­la­tion of so­lar panels,” he said.

“One of the great ad­van­tages of this project is that the sav­ings will be in­vested back into the health ser­vice, which will di­rectly sup­port the health out­comes of our com­mu­nity.

“It is also in line with our vi­sion to be lead­ers in ru­ral health care.”

The first stage of the em­pow­er­ing EGHS project will start in the near fu­ture, when the project goes out to ten­der.

Mr Free­man said when com­pleted, stage one of the project would see so­lar panels in­stalled at Wil­laura Cam­pus, the main Ararat Hospital build­ing, Com­mu­nity Health Cen­tre, sup­port ser­vices, the men­tal health build­ing, 70 Lowe Street and Gar­den View Court aged-care homes.

“The East Grampians Health Ser­vice board has made a com­mit­ment to fund this work,” he said.

“Fund­ing the se­cond stage of em­POW­ER­ING EGHS will re­quire the health ser­vice to ap­ply for phil­an­thropic and gov­ern­ment grants.

“If suc­cess­ful, new vis­i­tor and staff car park shel­ters will be built and so­lar panels in­stalled.”

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