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Caloundra has its day in sun

GREAT RESULT: Liza Neil sees solar success story.
GREAT RESULT: Liza Neil sees solar success story. Brett Wortman

THE green-thinking owners of solar-powered homes at Caloundra can take a bow.

Caloundra and its neighbouring suburbs at the southern tip of the Sunshine Coast have ranked second in the country for its high percentage of houses with solar power installed.

More than a quarter of all homes (27%) in the postcode 4551 have solar power, only behind Dubbo in New South Wales (28%).

Caloundra is the only area on the Coast that earned a mention in new data from the Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator.

Liza Neil of Gomango Architects is at the coalface of the booming green industry and was not surprised to hear the result for Caloundra.

Based at Moffat Beach, Ms Neil said there was a mature, conservative and future-minded population in the 4551 postcode.

"It's such a good news story," she said.

Gomango Architects is involved in the building of a new Moffat Beach headquarters for Latronic Industries, the only Australian manufacturers of inverters for solar energy.

Ms Neil said the company was committed to the Coast and its new HQ would feature a solar pergola that floats over the top of its factory.

It will include about 600 solar panels generating 100 kilowatts of electricity, making it the largest private producer of energy in the state.

Ms Neil said there was a large population of retirees in the Caloundra area and many were keen to reduce their carbon footprint to keep the planet healthier for their children and grandchildren.

She said the green movement started in Caloundra about four or five years ago with a community bulk-buy of solar grid connectors.

Ms Neil said it was a "radical" decision and 10 brave souls from Caloundra became the guinea pigs.

The success of that first community bulk-buy resulted with another 100 people wanting to join the green revolution - and after that 100 there were 1000.

Many received cheques back within their first billing period.

In a few short years the efficiency of green technology has skyrock

eted and Ms Neil said wise consumption made it increasingly easier for homes to save hundreds of dollars on electricity bills.

"The first thing they all said (when they had solar systems installed) was it was amazing to see their metres going backwards instead of forwards," Ms Neil said.

"It's a complete change of mindset when you're actually looking forward to your energy bill."

Topics:  caloundra home house power solar



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