Lithgow’s Hoskins Memorial Uniting Church has received a $3,000 solar grant from Energy Australia. The grant is a boost in the church’s efforts to raise funds to install roof top solar panels on top of the church’s Parish Centre.
The solar project is part of a partnership between Hoskins Uniting Church and Lithgow Environment Renewable Energy Hub, a local not for profit that operates out of a church office. Raising funds for the solar panels is a twelve month project that recently hit its halfway point.
In an interview for Lithgow’s local newspaper, The Lithgow Mercury, The Reverend Matt Trounce said that the project was in keeping with the church’s vision of environmental sustainability.
“We used to think that we were all going to a better place anyway, so we could treat the earth however we wanted, but now it’s more about honouring and protecting the Earth,” Rev. Trounce said.
The church is also hoping to support local employment through the initiative. A memorandum of understanding signed with LJWSolar stipulates that local people will be hired as part of the professional team. Rev Trounce told Insights that local jobs were an essential part of Lithgow’s transition away from being a coal mining town, a transition that he says has proved painful at times.
“The environment group are pretty aware of Lithgow’s history…as an industrial town,” Rev. Trounce said.
Hoskins Uniting Church have so far raised $7,739 towards the project. The church aims to raise $14,571.50, a target that includes the cost of installation. A chuffed.org campaign to help raise these funds launched last December.
Jonathan Foye is Insights’ Editor