By Kirra Grimes

THE volunteer-run Nyora Recreation Reserve has received some welcome support from the State Government to ease the burden of rising electricity costs and keep the vital community facility powering on for many years to come.
A state-of-the-art 20-kilowatt solar photo-voltaic (PV) system, comprising 56 solar panels, was recently installed at the reserve, on the roof of a clubhouse used by several groups including the Nyora Football Netball Club, and the Nyora Cricket Club.
Funded entirely by the Victorian Government as part of its Solar on Public Buildings program, the new system is expected to slash the reserve’s annual energy bill by up to 60 per cent, a saving that will make a big difference, says reserve committee chairman Brett Hume.
“It’s been a marvellous opportunity for us because the cost of electricity is really having a significant impact on all community-based clubs,” Brett said.
“Our bill’s just on $10,000 and it’s been going up every year, and a lot of that money has to be raised – you can’t get grants for that sort of thing – so it’s a big issue,” he said.
The recreation reserve’s annual power bill likely would have kept on rising as more and more community members made use of the reserve, said Brett.
The new system can be monitored and managed via a smartphone app, he said, which will enable power to be used “far more efficiently than previously possible”.
“We’ve been really heartened to see an increase in the use of our facilities, with new cricket, football and netball teams, but that also means an increase in energy and other costs.
“And the cost of energy is extremely high anyway.
“So, it’s really significant in terms of the long-term sustainability of the reserve and the various groups that make use of it… it’s a really exciting addition to our facility.”