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Author: John Conroy
Date: 11 February 2015

A crowd-funding project in Melbourne hopes to see a solar system installed on community housing, with the energy savings to pay for previously homeless residents’ job training.

The People’s Solar, a national crowd-funding platform for solar projects, has combined with St Kilda Community Housing for the initiative which they hope will raise $30,000 for a 15kW solar system.

“If people get behind the fundraising effort, in addition to lowering our carbon footprint, we’ll be able to use projected energy savings of over $5000 per annum on reducing rents and training more of our tenants through T2M, our social enterprise in the property maintenance industry,” St Kilda Community Housing’s General Manager, John Enticott, said, 

Projected savings are expected to fund job training opportunities for at least 80 of the 337 disadvantaged people housed by the centre, as well as lower energy bills for all tenants, he said.

The People’s Solar director and co-founder Alex Houlston said if the project was successful, it would be the largest crowd-funded solar project in Australia, and the only one of its kind dedicated to supporting those at risk of homelessness.

Sustainable living advocacy group the Alternative Technology Association (ATA) has backed the project – and The People’s Solar greater 100kW pipeline – continuing its support for community-based renewable energy: “Communities across Australia have a huge appetite for re-localising energy supply,” ATA’s chief executive Donna Luckman said.

Read more at the Business Spectator.