Thousands give thanks for Melbourne’s business solar leadership

The Climate Council has collected more than 30,000 signatures to present to the City of Melbourne in support of its commitment to solar power for businesses.

The more than 31,000 signatures were presented to Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle and chair of the City’s environment portfolio Arron Wood who tabled them at a council meeting on Tuesday night.

The signatures were in support of a pledge that read:

“Thank you for making it easy and affordable for Melbourne’s small and medium-sized businesses to go solar. We’re thrilled this will support Melbourne’s goal of securing 25 per cent of its power from renewables by 2018. May your leadership and innovation inspire other cities and towns across Australia.”

The pledge references the City’s now-ended Commercial Solar Rebates program, which provided businesses with rebates of between $2000 and $4000 to install solar panels. The program led to 132kW of capacity being added, including a 30kW system for FMSA Architecture in North Melbourne.

Mr Doyle said it was rare for a petition to be a positive, congratulatory gesture, and said he was pleased with the Climate Council’s efforts to set it up.

”The City of Melbourne has a goal to be a zero net emissions city. In order to achieve this, we are investing in practical, effective measures such as planting trees, converting asphalt into green space, capturing stormwater and supporting renewable energy use,” he said.

“You don’t get to be the most liveable city in the world for five consecutive years without a strong focus on sustainability.”

Climate Council chief executive Amanda McKenzie said local government was a leading sector in the climate change response.

“Local government has a really important role to play in tackling climate change, which is why it’s fantastic to see this kind of leadership from the City of Melbourne,” Ms McKenzie said.

“The fact the petition was so well supported is proof that Australians want to see more renewable energy. Rooftop solar, driven by homeowners and businesses, is only one of the success stories in energy transformation in Australia right now.”

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