Foster Swimming Pool Association’s project to warm their pool with solar heating will be completed before this summer, with assistance from Energy Innovation Co-op’s Southern CORE (Community Owned Renewable Energy) Fund.
The project is the very first for the newly DGR registered Southern CORE Fund. The $20,000 no interest loan will provide a much-needed top-up to funds already raised in a combined community fundraising effort.
“The Energy Innovation Co-op’s Southern CORE Fund supports community groups wishing to install solar panels, solar hot water or other energy efficiency measures onto buildings they manage and pay the power bills for.” said Co-op Chair Moragh Mackay.
“Our no-interest loans mean that every donation we receive is used over and over again. This is great value for donors, and great value for community groups who can usually repay the loan from energy savings.”
“As we raise more funds, and as each group pays off its loan, other groups will be supported”.
“The Co-op’s recent Federal DGR registration means that we can offer tax deductibility for donations and attract a wider range of corporate and individual donors. As we build the fund, we aim to offer direct grants as well.” she said.
Ian Lyon, President of Foster Swimming Pool Association said that “The Energy Innovation Co-op’s funding concept is very timely and valuable for community groups like ours. For us, it’s about power bills. The creation of the Southern CORE Fund means groups like us have another avenue to seek assistance”.
“It was wonderful that Federal MP Russell Broadbent was able and prepared to assist the Co-op with their Fund’s federal registration. We have been the very first beneficiaries of that assistance, and we thank both him and the Co-op.” Ian said.
Rebecca Matthews, Community Development Co-ordinator at Manna Gum Community House, described the project as a “great collaborative effort between the community groups and organisations involved”.
“The combined cost of installing the infrastructure on both the Pool and Manna Gum was over $70,000. It seemed ambitious to try and raise this in twelve months. Foster Swimming Pool Association raised $20,000. South Gippsland Shire contributed a grant of $10,000, Gardiner Foundation $10,000, Bendigo Community Bank $5000, Foster RSL $500 and Foster Rotary has pledged the proceeds of their November raffle.”
“The community strengthening and sustainability outcomes of the project are strong. Both of our facilities are well-utilised by the community. We’d like to thank everybody who has provided financial support, and especially South Gippsland Shire’s Sustainability Officer Heidi Hamm and other participants in the ComMET roundtable.” She said.
Further details of the Energy Innovation Co-op’s Southern CORE fund and other ongoing community energy projects will be provided at the Co-op’s AGM on 26th Nov. Details on their website www.eico-op.com.au. and the advertisement in this paper. All are welcome.