Solar deal secured for Pirie residents

SOLAR: Mayor John Rohde, residents Gordon and Lorraine Williams, Alan Zubrinich, James Holyman and Glen Morelli.
SOLAR: Mayor John Rohde, residents Gordon and Lorraine Williams, Alan Zubrinich, James Holyman and Glen Morelli.

A deal has been finalised between the Port Pirie Regional Council and Cool or Cosy, a South Australian organisation, to provide electricity to the community in both an affordable and reliable manner. 

For majority of the year, council has been working through a tender deal and has decided to pair with Cool or Cosy who for $19.20 a week, will provide an entry level solar PV system installed with no money to be paid upfront. 

Mayor of Port Pirie Regional Council John Rohde says that as a council they have a social conscience, they are not just roads, rates and rubbish. 

“We saw it very important that we could auspice resident’s connection to a reasonable rate for solar power”, Mayor Rohde said. 

“We saw it as a great opportunity to work for the people of Pirie.”

James Holyman, the director of corporate and community for the council says that they have been able to secure something for those living in the council area who may not have been able to afford solar in the first instance. 

“Council’s intention was to get it under $20. We have been able to get South Australian made panels that have a 25 year warranty plus a great inverter for $19.20 a week, over four years of payments”, Mr Holyman said. 

“This means that people have access to solar for another 21 years, where they are paying nothing for the equipment.” 

The tender process required an entry level solution costing resident no more than $38.40 a fortnight, whilst delivering free energy with high levels of reliability and guaranteed after sales support. 

Council estimates that over 750 people originally signed up, but now they have the prices, they have opened them back up.

Glen Morelli the managing director of Cool or Cosy says that the first system will be installed in Port Pirie by the end of August and they hope to attract to few more in the last quarter of the year. 

“Solar is a no-brainer, it saves energy which we all know how much it costs these days”, Mr Morelli said. 

“It is proven that it is a great return on investment for people, with the way that we have put that list together with the bulk buy it is extremely attractive pricing, if the resident chooses to finance it over a four year period, the savings pay for the solar panels themselves.” 

For small houses, the system is expected to save about $1,000 a year and for larger homes up to $3,000 a year. 

Cool or Cosy share similar values as the Port Pirie Regional Council and want to help those who in the first instances would not be able to afford these systems. 

“We love the concept from council to help the residents who can probably least afford solar. They are the ones that need it the most, that has been part of our philosophy for our business for a number of years now. It just fits our model and the type of thing we want to do within communities anyway.”

For more information on the project or to register, visit the Community Power Network’s website.