Author: Ciara Bastow
Hoskins Uniting Church has received a successful community grant of $3000 from Energy Australia Mt Piper for its roof top solar panels project.
The 12 month project, which is at its half way stage, has raised $7739.24 thus far but is still behind the target of $14,571.50
That target will include the overall cost to install the rooftop solar panels.
The money raised so far has been via private donations and fundraising events including Bunnings barbecues.
Julie Favell, project officer of Lithgow Environment Renewable Energy Hub, said that by utilising energy from the sun it would reduce Hoskins Uniting Church Lithgow’s carbon footprint.
She also said that with reduced energy costs it would allow the church to continue supporting the community and those in need.
Change is coming to Lithgow, it’s on the doorstep,
Ms Favel said that, even though Lithgow was known for mining and coal, the town has to prepare for the change now.
“I know people are apprehensive but we want to start a conversation across the state,” she said.
The Lithgow Environment Renewable Energy Hub has set up its office in the administration building of Hoskins Uniting Church to implement a seven point plan.
The seven point plan:
- Raise funds for solar installation on roofs of charity organisation buildings
- Liaise with businesses willing to install solar
- Lobby Energy Australia for a Pumped Hydro scheme between the lakes
- Liaise with Dept. of Housing for solar installations
- Lobby Lithgow City Council for a rates based approach of solar installations
- Connect with uni students
- Promote the reskilling of the workforce
Reverend Matt Trounce said that reducing costs was the most important thing so that money could be put into other projects.
“It’s also about getting back to being more earthy, we used to think that we were all going to a better place anyway, so we could treat the earth however we wanted, but now it’s more about honouring and protecting the Earth,” Reverend Trounce said.
The church is hoping to support families and provide meaningful work for Lithgow locals.
The project will be installed by LJWSolar, which has agreed with the memorandum of understanding agreement to employ local people to assist with their professional team.
Michelle Blackley, commercial manager for Energy Australia Lithgow, said she was proud to be on site to deliver the cheque to the church.
“We want to help not for profits who may not be able to afford to pay the bills,” she said.
Ms Blackley said that the company wouldn’t be looking at another coal plant in the future.
“As a company we want to start looking at using these alternative methods, such as solar panels,” Ms Blackley said.
If you would like to donate you can go to Hoskins Uniting Church Lithgow and speak to the staff, or head to the Lithgow Environment Group Facebook page for information about a direct transfer to the charity fund account.