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A COMMUNITY project to reduce carbon emissions has taken off in Lismore this week, with more than 180 families signing up to get affordable solar panels installed on their homes.

The Lismore Climate Care Solar Roll Out was started by local climate activists who decided to arrange a bulk purchase of solar energy systems for themselves and householders in the Lismore district.

Project founder Gordon Fraser-Quick said the not-for-profit group was just a few blokes volunteering to put solar systems on houses for the good of the planet.

“After the government rebates were confirmed and quality checks carried out, local tenders were called to supply and install roughly 187 solar energy systems on houses in the Lismore district,” Mr Fraser-Quick said.

Newcomer Nickel Renewable Energy was one of these businesses, and yesterday a team of six workers was installing the solar panels on Susanna Carpi's home.

Company worker Nick Lake said the project was a local solution to a global issue and would save home owners roughly $250 a year in electricity bills.

“A one kilowatt solar power system would cut about 1.6 tonnes of carbon dioxide being introduced into the atmosphere every year, equal to removing two cars off the road or planting 83 trees,” Mr Lake said.

Ms Carpi said she had always wanted to include solar panels into her already energy-conscience lifestyle.

“With the Federal Government rebates for solar power and the bulk buying, I'm making a big saving both financially and environmentally,” Ms Carpi said.

The climate care group has held community meetings since July this year, where more than 180 Lismore residents signed up to the solar panel project.

If eligible, the Federal Government's Solar Homes and Communities Plan provides cash rebates for the installation of solar energy systems on homes and community buildings.

HOW SOLAR POWER WORKS

THE solar panels convert the sun's energy into DC electricity. An inverter then converts the DC into normal 240V AC electricity, feeding energy into your home's electrical wiring. Houses appliances use their immediate electricity needs, and any excess energy is fed back into the electricity grid.



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