Shadow Climate Action, Environment and Heritage Minister, Greg Hunt, said, “The Coalition will allocate a total of $300,000 for projects to create a solar community.

“This will include New Norfolk, Bicheno, Sorell, Exeter and Longford.

“This is the result of strong representation from Eric Hutchinson on behalf of the local community.”

The funds will be made available to community groups to access solar hot water or solar energy and will be available from 1 July 2014.

Community groups that could apply to reduce their energy bills include sports clubs, seniors’ clubs, and scout centres.  Projects will be capped at $20,000 each. 

“The Coalition recognises the potential to harness power at a local level.  By bringing the community together we can create real momentum and investment in solar which both reduces emissions and electricity bills,” said Mr Hutchinson, the Federal Liberal Candidate for Lyons.

The Coalition’s program will produce a minimum of 25 new Solar Towns and 100 new Solar Schools across the nation.

The Initiative is part of the Coalition’s Plan for Clean Air and supports our commitment both to reduce electricity prices while also meeting our climate change targets and supporting renewable energy.

“Labor has announced then scrapped numerous programs, including solar schools, solar hot water rebate and the multiplier on renewable energy credits, creating a roller coaster ride for the industry and customers.  Kevin Rudd’s Solar Flagships is yet to see one project built despite an original promise of $1.5 billion four years ago,” Mr Hunt said.

Initial projects will include:

Southern Solar Community Projects:

• New Norfolk Football club
• Gagebrook Community Centre
• Bagdad Community club
• Oatlands RSL and community club
• Sorell RSL and community club

East Coast Solar Community Projects:
• Healthy House St Helens
• Falmouth community
• Bicheno Bowls/pétanque Community club
• Bicheno Golf club)
• Nubeena community

Northern Solar Community Projects:

• Port Sorell Men’s Shed
• Longford RSL and community club
• Deloraine Aged Care
• Exeter RSL/Bowls and community club