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Solar power good for business

COMMUNITY Based Support (CBS) is focused on becoming a sustainable organisation in everything it does.

The recently appointed chief executive officer, Murray Coates, said with this in mind, it was a relatively easy decision for it to invest in solar power, a valuable untapped resource for commercial businesses and community organisations in Tasmania.

“We are all about making sure the community in which we operate is healthy and happy and cohesive,” he said.

“At the same time, we want to ensure that we are leaving a small environmental footprint.

“We want to be seen as an organisation that does innovative things in the space in which we work that adds real value to people’s lives.

“The way we do things more broadly is also important to us.”

CBS is an independent, not-for-profit community-based organisation that provides in-home care, domestic assistance, home and garden maintenance, centre-based and community-based personal support for frail and older people and individuals with a disability, as well as respite for carers.

It has been operating in Tasmania for more than 25-years and has developed significant intelligence and expertise in that time.

Mr Coates said it was also an accredited provider of “myagedcare” and the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

“So, it is fair to say that we have a solid background on which we are building, and we want to invest in different things,” he said.

Mr Coates said CBS was keen to work with other Tasmanian companies, in this instance Affordable Solar Tasmania, to achieve its “sustainability” goals.

Affordable Solar Tasmania system designer Rick Gittus said his business, which had operated since 2010, had mostly dealt with solar installations for residential buildings, with only a tiny fraction of commercial dwellings making the switch to solar power.

Mr Gittus said that the key to fully maximising a solar power system and making the most savings was to use the power onsite and not export it.

“As most businesses and organisations only operate during the day, solar power offers a great investment and payback can be as little as five-years,” he said.

“Businesses and organisations can take advantage of the power as it’s being generated so the low feed-in tariff is of no consequence.”

CBS has installed a 120-panel (31.2-kilowatt) system on its premises at 24 Sunderland Street, Moonah.

Taking four-days to install, the new solar PV system now averages 94.4 kilowatts-per-hour a day, with the potential to generate more than 34,000 kilowatts-per-hour each year.

With high solar access and no panel tilt framing required, Mr Gittus said the CBS building was ideal for solar installation.

“CBS was a dream client, they had done their research and knew exactly what they wanted and what would best suit the needs of the organisation,” he said.

Mr Gittus, who is also a member of the Tasmanian Renewable Energy Alliance (TREA), said with the current environmental issues and the cost of power on the rise, it was only a matter of time before people made the switch to solar.

“It’s no longer a matter of if, but when,” he said.

“People are getting wiser about the benefits of solar power and at the end of the day, it’s the right thing to do.

“It’s important that the community supports local system installers and fights for the future of solar power in Tasmania.”

For more information about CBS, visit www.cbsaust.org.au or phone 6208 6600.

For more information about TREA, visit tasrenew.org.au.

Caption: Community Based Support has made the switch to solar power, installing a 120-panel system on its Moonah premises. Chief executive officer Murray Coates, left, said the decision reflected the organisation’s ongoing commitment to innovation and environmental sustainability.

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