THE Narooma Surf Lifesaving Club is now totally energy neutral and should even be putting power back into the national power grid.
Sunday saw the grand launch of the solar panels and wind turbine recently installed at clubhouse thanks to money raised from this year’s Life Saving Energy Big Swim and contributions from the Eurobodalla Shire Council and the Federal Government.
Representatives from the Clean Energy for Eternity, including founder Matthew Nott, members of the Narooma Surf Lifesaving Club, helpers and generous donators all enjoyed a barbecue lunch and drinks on the deck.
The weather was perfect and both the solar panels and wind turbine were hard at work, with special boxes inside the club giving read outs on how much power was being generated.
Matthew Nott said Narooma was the fourth club in the region to be energy neutral with the others being Jindabyne, Moruya and Tathra.
Pambula and Broulee should be joining them within months making all the South Coast clubs clean and green. There are also funds for Bermagui, as soon as they can build a clubhouse.
“We would like to see all 305 surf clubs across Australia join in and there is already talk of a national big swim to raise funds,” Mr Nott said.
“This is a community campaign with some council support and it turning into a national campaign, so people in the south east should be really proud.”
Of $50,000 cost, about $20,000 was raised from the Big Swim, Eurobodalla Shire Council kicked in $7500 and there was a 50 per cent rebate from the Federal Government.
Installed was a 2kW solar panel, twice the capacity of the Tathra panel, and a 400-watt wind turbine.
The devices had already made the club at least $40 and club members were counting on the devices reducing the club’s $1200 to $1500 a year power bill.
Once again, the club president Steve Dobson said members would like to thank all those involved in organising the Lifesaving Energy Big Swim, entrants, supporters and kind donators for making the project such a success.
The next Big Swim, this time from the bridge to Bar Beach only, will be held on Sunday, April 5 and will proudly remain named “The Lifesaving Energy Big Swim”.
In keeping with the project to aim for energy efficiency and minimising the carbon footprint, it is envisaged that next year’s funds will go towards installing solar hot water and energy efficient lighting throughout the clubhouse.
Councillor Chris Kowal said he was proud of the council decision to provide funds and now the benefits were being seen first hand.
“I’m proud to see Narooma come on line,” Clr Kowal said.
Mr Nott said the current calculations were that sea level could potentially rise 3mm a year.
“Rising sea levels will impact the entire South Coast,” he said.
“It’s a matter of survival that we tackle this – it will have a huge impact on small towns, their economies and real estate.”