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Lower bills, more lifesaving calls for Lifeline Canberra

Bringing together a team of local suppliers and working in partnership with EPC Solar and the Smart Energy Council, community-endorsed ACT Independent Senate candidate David Pocock has facilitated a significant upgrade to Lifeline Canberra’s book warehouse in Mitchell.

The upgrades include more than doubling the capacity of the rooftop solar system to a new 11.36-Kilowatt capacity, installing a new 10-Kilowatt inverter, adding tilt racks and reorienting existing panels for greater operating efficiency as well as upgrading to full LED lighting throughout greatly improving lighting levels for the volunteers.

These improvements will deliver significant cuts to Lifeline Canberra’s energy costs, potentially enabling them to answer a further 176 lifesaving calls each year.

“Every year, thousands of volunteers and staff at Lifeline work to provide crisis counselling to people experiencing extreme pain and anguish,” David said.

“The Lifeline Bookfair is an iconic and much-loved event in Canberra that raises vital funds to support the helpline, as well as Lifeline’s broader mission to achieve an Australia free of suicide.

“To put on the Bookfair, over 600 incredible volunteers work behind the scenes to sort and organise books, among other activities, at Lifeline Canberra’s warehouse.

“Disappointingly this year’s event had to be cancelled so I am excited we have had this chance tp help. People across the community have been so generous in support of my campaign, I am really glad to have this opportunity to pay some of that forward.

“Simply lighting this warehouse space digs into the organisation’s budget, which could be better spent on supporting the operations of the helpline.”

“The Smart Energy Council is so pleased to be involved in this important initiative,” said John Grimes, Chief Executive of the Smart Energy Council.

“Lifeline saves peoples’ lives, and it is fantastic they can focus on helping people rather than worrying about their power bills.”

“EPC Solar was pleased to support Lifeline Canberra in this way and look forward to assisting other   Canberra region businesses in realising the cost saving benefits of transitioning to renewable energy solutions,” Managing Director Daryn Stocks said.

David thanked the suppliers who generously took part in this project including EPC Solar who organised the engineering, procurement and construction of the solar system and LED lighting, with the costs covered by David’s campaign and the latter supplied from M-Elec through TLE Electrical Belconnen.

The inverter was generously donated by GoodWe through Supply Partners and the racking by Sunlock, with the installation completed by EPC Solar’s preferred contractor CBR Electrical.

David said that the upgrades to Lifeline Canberra also provide a glimpse of the benefits that could flow to Canberra through his smart energy policy, which seeks to electrify the community’s energy needs and bring down the cost of fuel and power bills.

“Each year, Canberrans spend around $950 million on energy and fuel bills. Through my proposal for a world-first Canberra-based ‘Suburb zero’ trial, and then a territory-wide electrification program, we could save the average household more than $5,000 each year in bills,” said David.

“What’s more, an ACT-wide electrification program will create up to 5,500 jobs and inject around $580 million in spending into the local economy, as a result of cost savings by 2030.

“Fundamentally, my policy is about creating jobs, saving people money and ensuring ACT households, but also business and charities reap the benefits of the smart energy transition that is already underway. In this case, it can help Lifeline find savings to focus on their core business."

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