Solar to Deliver Cheaper Energy Bills for Central Victorian Schools

Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters says Central Victorian schools will be able to reduce energy bills and access cleaner energy under Labor’s Solar Schools program.

“Each time I visit a school across the Bendigo electorate, particularly in Castlemaine, students raise the issue of climate change and transitioning to cleaner energy,” Chesters said.

The Solar Schools program will not only help schools cut their energy costs, but also deliver energy back to the grid - driving down electricity bills for households and businesses.

“The last time this program was in place, when Labor was in Government, it was highly successful.”

“Obviously the technology is much better than it was when we rolled out those initial schools with solar panels on their roofs. But even schools that have those earlier panels talk about the savings that they're already making on their electricity bills.

“Now that panels are cheaper and more efficient, you'll see even greater savings.”

In the Bendigo electorate, larger schools are estimated to save $94,000 each year under this program, and smaller schools would save around $7000.

Schools are an excellent location for solar investment and the creation of virtual power plants (VPPs), because they often don’t use energy at times of peak demand and through a large portion of summer.

Schools are largely vacant for more than 150 days per year. Often demand for energy is highest when kids are not at school.
Schools with existing solar panels and batteries will be able to use the program to upgrade to a newer or larger system that would be better for self-consumption and participation in a VPP.

“Central Victoria has many sunny days throughout the year, so it’s an ideal location for solar energy,” Chesters said.

“I know this program will be popular with local state, catholic and independent schools. This is another practical announcement that will make a difference.”