Pirie aged care residents at Lealholme welcome solar panels

EFFICIENT: Solar panels were installed at Helping Hand Aged Care's Lealholme residence in a bid to drive down energy costs.
EFFICIENT: Solar panels were installed at Helping Hand Aged Care's Lealholme residence in a bid to drive down energy costs.
PLEASED: Resident Malcolm Fuchs, lives with his wife at Lealholme. He said he is pleased with the new installments of solar panels.

PLEASED: Resident Malcolm Fuchs, lives with his wife at Lealholme. He said he is pleased with the new installments of solar panels.

No-one wants a high energy bill at the end of the quarter - including Lealholme aged home.

In a bid to drive down energy costs, Helping Hand Aged Care has taken the next step towards an efficient future through a $500,000 project.

The installation of 350 solar panels at the site is expected to yield up to 100kW energy.

It is expected that the panels will see site cost reductions of between 25 to 30 per cent.

Helping Hand Aged Care chief executive officer Chris Stewart said the group was committed to providing residents with sustainable services.

"Helping Hand is committed to ongoing investment in our sites and services to reduce our carbon footprint and increase our environmental sustainability," he said.

Funded by the Commonwealth's Aged Care Regional Rural and Remote Infrastructure Grant, the project also saw the installation of a 350kVA back-up diesel generator, LED lighting upgrades and a refurbished kitchen.

Although residents do not pay for electricity, any saving will be reinvested into the site for the benefit of residents.

Lealholme's residential services manager Shirley Waldhuter said the residence would direct any savings toward future projects.

"These savings will be injected back into Lealholme to fund other unique projects that will assist in creating a good quality of life for our residents - now and into the future," she said.

Lealholme resident Malcolm Fuchs said he was happy with the installation.

"They are a great idea as they are just about on every second house now," he said.

"I had them on my house and used to look forward to my power bills to see if I was in credit.

"They are a great way to save on power costs."

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