Solar upgrade at Cavanbah Centre saves council money

BYRON Shire Council is saving energy and money thanks to the 25kW solar PV system and lighting upgrade of the Cavanbah Centre.

These actions were implemented after an energy efficiency audit at the centre identified multiple opportunities for energy savings.

A follow up audit has confirmed that Council is now saving $15,200 per year.

Byron Shire Council's open space and resource recovery manager, Michael Matthews, said the energy efficiency upgrade was a great opportunity to help Council save money, energy and greenhouse gas emissions.

"The Cavanbah Centre 25kW solar system alone will provide up to 70 percent of the centre's current energy use," Mr Matthews said.

"Along with the lighting upgrade and solar hot water system retrofit, we are now saving 54,300kWh of energy and 48 tonnes of greenhouse gas annually.

"This is equivalent to the energy consumption of 8.3 average households."

Mayor Simon Richardson said it was a good start on reaching their emissions target.

"Council is committed to renewable energy sources on community buildings," he said.

The initiatives have a payback period of less than six years and will save approximately $375,000 over the life of the system based on current energy price projections.

Other Byron Shire Council solar PV systems include a 50 kW system on the West Byron Sewerage Treatment Plant, a 5kW at Brunswick Valley Community Centre, four solar hot water systems and 10kW at Myocum Landfill.

And still over at the Cavanbah Centre, Cr Richardson said 2016 was shaping up to be another positive year for the regional facility.

"The new building name has gone up and the plan of management for the site is being reviewed to support diversifying the site uses," he said.

"It's building a strong clientele with sports, cultural activities and meetings. As a result, income revenue has grown 25 per cent in the past financial year.

"As the name proudly says, with the support of the community the Cavanbah Centre is truly becoming a meeting place."

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