A sunny future on the green with solar panels
Solar panels helped the Ashburton Bowls Club reduce their power bills and re-invest this money back into the club for a stronger future.
There’s a sign at the front of the Ashburton Bowls Club that says, “All welcome.” And it’s not wrong. With almost 70 years of proud bowling history, the Ashburton community in southeast Melbourne is tight-knit and welcoming to newcomers. And they’re certainly enthusiastic when it comes to having a role to play in the community – reducing their environmental footprint with solar power.
Reigniting a beloved bowls club
Ian Lee joined Ashburton 11 years ago, putting his hand up to become the treasurer of the club when the opportunity presented itself.
“I’ve always been involved in whatever I do. I’m not somebody that sits back. I say if a job must be done, do it yourself. So, to keep the club going, I put my hand up.”
A few years ago, the club decided it wanted to keep electricity costs down and reduce its carbon footprint so Ian and the rest of the Ashburton leadership team started working on that challenge.
That group included club president, Liz Kortum. She’s passionate about leading a club focused on the future and agreed that solar power was an easy step along the path to sustainability for the club.
“We decided to install solar panels because they were energy efficient. They decreased the cost to the club, which is very beneficial,” says Liz.
AGL leads on the green
For Liz, Ian and the rest of the Ashburton team, it made sense to reach out to AGL for solar panels.
“We identified that we needed solar panels for the club early last year. And we went through the process of contacting many other companies, but we chose to go with AGL because they were simply the best people to deal with,” Ian says.
Liz was also impressed by the level of service and affordability of the solar panels.
“AGL has been very good. They give us plenty of notice when they need to visit the club so that we can have things operating to suit them as well as ourselves. We are much better off as a club since having the solar panels installed, and AGL has been a great choice.”
Sunshine for the win
“There’s nothing like lawn balls on a glorious spring or early summer’s day when the temperature is 28 degrees and there’s not a cloud in the sky,” Ian says. “And a tiny zephyr of wind is just fantastic. You’re playing against people that share your passion and you’re out on the bowling green, just enjoying the day and enjoying the sunshine. It’s a great feeling.”
Solar panels give the Ashburton club another way to enjoy the sunshine. The panels take the sun’s rays and convert them into electricity. That electricity is then used to power the bowls club, and any leftover power is fed back into the electricity grid for others to use.
“Solar panels were a great way to reduce our costs and our carbon footprint, which was quite large for such a small organisation. Once we decided that the rest of the process was in fact, very simple,” Ian says.
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