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Solar powered cinema a possibility

14th Mar 2013

A cinema in Palmerston, Northern Territory, is set to switch to solar due to rising electricity costs that are hitting the cinema hard.

On January 1, the cost of power and water rose for the Northern Territory, as tariffs were increased.

The standard electricity tariff was increased by 30 per cent, water 40 per cent and sewerage by 25 per cent.

Speaking to David Wood from Northern Territory News on February 27, Michael Schneider, managing director of the Palmerston cinema said the cinema's first electricity bill since the price hike had risen by 33 per cent.

The extra costs, he said, would cost at least $100,000 extra annually.

In response to these rising bills, Mr Schneider said: "We are looking at implementing more environmentally friendly power usage such as solar."

This may be of interest to solar panel manufacturers and installers as currently the majority of solar panels are connected to residential properties - and the commercial sector is a sought-after but still largely untapped market for solar energy.

In response to the power price hike, PowerWater - an electricity, water and sewerage service provider- advises Northern Territory residents to cut back on their use of power and water so they are not so adversely affected by the price hike.

Some of the measures PowerWater recommend to save costs and energy include:

- Turn off all lights and appliances when they are not in use
- Plant shady trees on the sunny side of your house to reduce the temperature on the inside so you use less air conditioning
- Switch off your hot water system when it's not needed
- Look for energy efficient appliances when buying a new item - there will be an energy efficiency star rating label on electrical appliances and some equipment. Look out for it - the more stars you see, the more efficient the product.
- Switch to energy saving lightbulbs which use up to 80 per cent less electricity
- Only do your washing when the washing machine is full
- Shorten the length of your shower
- Report leaking taps or showers
- If you're children want to play in the water take them to a local beach or swimming pool. Playing with water from running taps or hoses wastes the community's water.

While these tips are directed towards residents of Northern Territory, they will be of use to all Australians as rising electricity prices become an uncomfortable reality. 

Posted by Bob Dawson

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