Narooma Rotary have news for anyone who thinks Rotary clubs are all sausage sizzles and kneesocks.
“We’re not a bunch of fuddy-duddy’s,” laughs Rotary vice-president Laurelle Pacey.
The club is once again organising the Narooma Renewable Energy Expo, a day which centres on the antithesis of fuddy-duddy – groundbreaking and fast-moving renewable energy technology, which will save you money on power bills.
“There’s just so much happening in renewable energy and battery development at the moment and our expo is a great opportunity to catch up with the latest. It’s a chance to source information directly from local experts and installers,” says expo coordinator Frank Eden.
It was Frank’s concern about climate change and his passion for renewable energy that saw the expo kick off four years ago.
“As is often the case, it was one passionate member who determined where we put our efforts,” says Bob Aston, who chairs the expo board and has been involved with Rotary for 20 years.
“In the past, Rotary has always been involved with raising awareness about issues which affect the community. Raising awareness about climate change is a good fit with the club.”
The Narooma Rotary Club want to get information about renewable energy out to as many people as possible.
“There’s so much information out there,” Bob says “I suspect we don’t really understand the impact of climate change, it’s a bit scary to think about.”
But, Bob adds, putting a few panels up is something you can do, right now, to help combat the effects of climate change.
“You can do your own little bit to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and save yourself money on power bills at the same time.”
Michael and Lyndal Blackmore have just bought Solarhart Far South Coast and will be one of the 20 vendors at the expo. Their service extends from South Durras to the Victorian border and out to Bombala and Nelligen.
“We travel to wherever we’re needed,” Michael says from a job near the Brogo Dam “solar is becoming less of a luxury and more of a necessity, it’s the future and we wanted to do our bit to be green.”
Prices for solar equipment are still dropping rapidly as technology advances.
“Ten years ago, panels were doing half of what they’re doing now,” Michael explains “Elon Musk’s research into electric cars and batteries is paying off for all of us, although batteries are still the most expensive element of a system.”
In terms of government rebates, they are now known as small-scale technology certificates [STC] and are adjusted with demand for renewable energy and the size of your system – so no one can easily tell you how much you might be reimbursed for putting in solar panels but it will be worth something.
Exhibitors expected on the day include South Coast Green Energy, Micro Energy Solutions, Solahart Far South Coast, Shoalhaven Solar, Simmark, SHASA, 350.org, All Solar & Electrix, Heavenly Heat, Sunny Afternoons and Energy Options.
Also on show will be e-bikes from Moruya Bikes, battery-operated power tools, renewable energy options for caravaners and campers and demonstrations from Narooma High School’s Robotics Club.
A raffle run by the South Coast Health & Sustainability Alliance will be drawn at the expo. Prizes can be redeemed for solar installs to that value (1st $750, 2nd $500, 3rd $250) from one of the exhibitors at the expo. The raffle is raising funds to install a solar system at Moruya Women’s Refuge.
And in case you’re only in it for the sausages – good news! The Lions Club will be there to fire up the barbeque.
The Narooma Renewable Energy Expo is on Saturday, November 2, 10 am to 4 pm at Narooma Sport & Leisure Centre. Entry is by gold coin donation.