Greener Government Buildings Funding For Victorian Health Services

solar panels for Victorian health services

Image: Google Earth

$26 million in funding will be made available through the Greener Government Buildings program for solar power installations and energy efficiency upgrades at hospitals and regional health services in Victoria.

Announced yesterday by Finance Minister Robin Scott and Minister for Health Jill Hennessy, the funding is expected to save more than $70 million over the service life of the investments made, while avoiding more than 20,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually.

“We’re taking action on climate change and driving down costs for our hospitals and health services,” said Minister Scott. “The Greener Government Buildings program is a win/win – it reduces greenhouse gas emissions, creates jobs and saves Victorians money.”

Among the services to receive funding:

  • Up to $7 million for Peninsula Health (including Frankston Hospital)
  • $5 million for Northern Health
  • $3.9 million for hospitals in Gippsland

Participants will be eligible for loans to install solar panels and have access to a solar bulk buy program through Health Purchasing Victoria, which aims to get the best value for money.

The Greener Government Buildings program (GGB) was reinstated by the Andrews Labor Government last year after it was scrapped under the former Coalition Government in 2014.

At least ten hospitals and health services had to ditch planned energy efficiency upgrades as a result of the program’s axing. The reasoning provided at the time was dumping GGB would save money – even though it was a loans rather than a grants program and had demonstrated annual direct cost savings in utilities and maintenance bills of $32.17 million.

The program won a Premier’s Sustainability Award in 2011.

Premier’s Sustainability Awards Finalists

On a related note, the finalists for the 2017 Premier’s Sustainability Awards were announced yesterday.

Among those selected is The Cape sustainable housing project at Cape Patterson. Each house built in the estate will have a minimum 2.5kW of solar panels installed. The Cape has 220 home sites, with Stage 1 almost completely sold out according to the developers.

Another finalist in the Built Environment category is the Nightingale 1 apartment project in Brunswick. 20 apartments with an average energy efficiency rating of 8.2 stars are being built, along with a shared 18kW solar array and a rooftop garden. The project is expected to be completed in November this year.

“We’ve had the broadest cross section of entries in the Award’s 15 year history and it’s great to see such ingenuity and innovation in the way Victorians approach sustainability,” said Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio.

Winners will be announced at the Awards ceremony on October 26.

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

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