The rooftop of our Macarthur Community Health building is the latest of five SWH facilities to be solar-panelled as part of an exciting energy efficiency infrastructure project financed by the Victorian Health and Human Services Building Authority (VHHSBA).
Reducing carbon emissions is a key strategic goal of our 2020–24 Environmental Management Plan. With input from our sustainability committee and buildings and infrastructure team, eight identified key small/medium projects aligned with the VHHSBA’s environmental sustainability strategy and commitment to support Victoria’s health system to reduce carbon emissions.
This resulted in a $134,000 grant for the installation of solar arrays at Macarthur Community Health, Portland Community Mental Health Services, Warrnambool’s Nootyoong Prevention and Recovery Centre (PARC) and Lismore Community Health.
From mid-January, Macarthur’s electric hot water system will draw off the just-installed solar array completely removing the need for LPG.
‘Health services require significant amounts of energy to be able to deliver quality healthcare services to the community. Increasing the proportion of energy supplied through renewable energy or more energy-efficient infrastructure has both health and economic benefits. Lowering emissions released into the atmosphere also decreases the amount spent on energy bills, ultimately freeing-up further resources to be directed to patient care,’ explains SWH environmental sustainability officer Elvira Hewson.
‘This development will significantly reduce our utilities costs,’ says Macarthur Community Health manager David Keilar. ‘Even with increased demand on electricity to back up the electric hot water service the installation of this solar array is anticipated to reduce average daily power usage at the site by 40 percent.’
Macarthur Community Health provides essential allied, nursing and GP services to the surrounding communities enabling local people to live independently in their homes for longer.