Traralgon Neighbourhood Learning House Project Launch

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“Energy Efficiency” workshops along with the installation of 32kW of solar panels and 22 kW/hr of batteries are part of an exciting new project launched recently at the Traralgon Neighbourhood Learning House.

Neroli Raff, Chair of the Energy Innovation Co-operative was joined by local member Harriet Shing and the recently elected Mayor and Deputy Mayor for Latrobe City Council and other project partners. With funding of $52,900 from the State Government New Energy Jobs Fund and $9,000 from Latrobe City Council the project is expected to save the centre $12,000 annually on electricity.

Acting Manager of the Neighbourhood Learning House, Julie Callahan, is delighted that the installation will include a monitor in the foyer displaying information about the solar production and storage. “As one of the busiest Community Houses in Victoria, this will be a great opportunity to spread the word about the benefits of renewable energy. We’re very grateful to the Council and State Government for providing the funding, and to the Energy Innovation Co-operative for making it happen”.

Latrobe City Councillor Sharon Gibson in her new role as Mayor was enthusiastic about the community benefits. “As well as saving money for the Neighbourhood House, the educational opportunities for such a busy centre makes this a great initiative”.

Harriet Shing, local member for Eastern Victoria Region said how exciting it was to be attending the launch “in three dimensions at the end of what has been a really difficult year and to see that a local company, Rocky’s Solar, will be doing the installation. These energy efficiency workshops will translate into real savings and help people to manage their day-to-day expenses, and to see the difference is that can be made from small changes”. Ms Shing also congratulated the Sustainability team at Council. “There is so much good work going on behind the scenes” then finished by thanking all the project partners for their hard work.

Brett Hekman, said Rocky’s Solar said the project will use local designers and installers which helps keep money in the local community and will provide extra community benefit from the cost savings.

The Energy Innovation Co-operative (established in 2009) is a volunteer group based in Gippsland promoting energy innovation and energy efficiency. They can provide no-interest loans to community groups to install solar panels from their community-owned renewable energy (CORE) fund established in 2017. For more information visit the EI Co-op website:

Pictured in photo from L-R: Sharon Gibson (Mayor Latrobe City Council), Brett Hekman (Rocky’s Solar), Darren Howe (Deputy Mayor Latrobe City Council), Harriet Shing (Member for Eastern Victoria Region) Neroli Raff (Chair Energy Innovation Co-operative),Barb Pendlebury (President TNLH Management Committee), Julie Callahan (TNLH Acting Centre Manager, Chris Barfoot (Project Officer Gippsland Climate Change Network), Maryam Khodi (Environmental Sustainability Officer Latrobe City Council), John Coulter (Project Officer Energy Innovation Co-operative)

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