Solar Citizens, a new community organisation advocating for the rights of solar owners and a shift to clean renewable energy, launched a community campaign on August 11, starting with doorknocking households.
“Election time is when parties commit to policy platforms, but one thing isn’t being talked about enough is cheap, clean energy — the solar revolution here in the Blue Mountains,” said Dr Geoff Evans, campaign manager for Solar Citizens.
“The solar revolution is spreading rapidly, and the question must be asked: which candidates will support our community’s need for lower electricity bills and a clean energy future?
“That’s what our community campaign will be asking of all candidates. We’ll be doorknocking, having street and market stalls and getting hundreds of residents in the Macquarie electorate to speak up and put pressure on all candidates to express their support for a renewable future.
“Over 9000 homes have solar panels or hot water on their roof in the Macquarie electorate and that number is increasing,” said Dr Evans.
Faulconbridge resident and Solar Citizens member Xavier Mayes is a first-homeowner and said going solar was a priority for him and his partner, Clare.
“Before we bought our place we were renting in Sydney and didn’t have any control over our power. One month after our move the old electric hot water system broke, almost like the house was saying ‘get on with it’!,” said Mr Mayes.
Two years on, the couple has installed solar panels as well as solar hot water and are already noticing lower electricity bills.
“It’ll take a few years to pay off both systems, but after that it’s all free power from the sun. When I turn on the shower at night and know the water is hot because of solar on our roof, not a big power plant in the Hunter Valley, it just makes sense,” Mr Mayes said.
“Solar is not just an electricity issue. It’s a family cost of living issue. It’s a community and planetary health issue. Solar and pathways to clean renewable energy are an election issue. And, this election, we’re going to make sure Louise Markus, Susan Templeman, Danielle Wheeler and all the candidates know that.”