Volunteer committees of management on public land, including in Lancefield and Riddells Creek, are set to save thousands of dollars on power bills by installing solar PV systems, thanks to funding from the Victorian Government for the Solar on Public Buildings Program.

Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio today announced that 228 volunteer committees will be supported through round one of the $9.2 million initiative, announced in May 2020 as part of the Victorian Government’s Building Works stimulus package.

Volunteer community groups on public land including Lancefield Mechanics Institute, Lancefield Park Recreation Reserve and Riddells Creek Mechanics Institute will directly benefit from the program with substantially reduced energy costs for their facilities assisting them to remain viable into the future.

The program will provide local jobs with accredited regional contractors to be appointed from a panel of approved providers.

There has been a high level of interest in the program from eligible committees in the Macedon Ranges since it opened in August, with successful committees being selected through a robust assessment process following an initial expression of interest.

A similar program has already been rolled out in Gippsland resulting in 69 public buildings on public land receiving new solar systems. The new program will cover the rest of Victoria.

The first-round of projects will enable work at selected sites to get underway, starting with an energy audit and electrical upgrades if necessary ahead of the solar installation.

An additional list of approved sites will be released later this year, with the program to run for three years until 2023.

Quotes attributable to Member for Macedon, Mary-Anne Thomas MP

“This is a terrific outcome for the community, the environment and our hardworking volunteer committees at Lancefield Mechanics Institute, Lancefield Park and Riddells Creek Mechanics Institute.”

“Local committees of management on public land are the backbone of small communities, which often have limited capacity to raise funds for their venues. This initiative is not only helping these committees to survive, but to thrive in the future.”