Maryborough Excelsior City Band slashes costs with solar grant

Maryborough Excelsior City Band is hitting a high note with a new solar panel system to keep electricity costs down, thanks to a $7,900 federal grant announced by Federal Member for Wide Bay and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Llew O’Brien.

Mr O’Brien said the brass band received funding through the Liberal and Nationals Government’s Powering Communities Program to install 28 solar panels and a 10.92ks system at its Band Hall on Wharf Street, Maryborough.

“Electricity costs are one of the most significant costs for the Band, with fridges and freezers needed at the Band Hall to store food for their fundraising food van, and the solar panels will eliminate the pressure of electricity bills and save them between $2,000 and $3,000 every year,” Mr O’Brien said.

“Maryborough Excelsior City Band does a great job to keep the community entertained and it’s entirely reliant on donations and fundraising, so this grant will be a huge help to reduce costs and ensure the band can play on.”

Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said that lowering the energy costs of community groups would have positive effects both locally and nationally.

“This funding of between $5,000 and $12,000 to community groups from all the 151 federal electorates of Australia will allow them to spend more on their essential activities,” Minister Taylor said.

“At the same time as these groups are providing increased assistance to their local communities, they will be playing a part in our national efforts to reduce emissions.

“Local jobs will be created through the energy-efficiency measures undertaken by the successful funding applicants under the program.

“These include installing solar panels or a battery, replacing lighting with LEDs, conducting an energy audit and upgrading air conditioners, hot water systems or a refrigerator with more efficient models.”

Assistant Minister to the Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Tim Wilson said that the grants are part of the Morrison Government’s commitment to increase the nation’s energy efficiency while meeting and beating our emissions reduction targets.

“The Morrison Government is focused on empowering community groups, businesses and households to be part of our journey to carbon neutrality,” Assistant Minister Wilson said.

“Unlike Labor’s tax-first approach, our focus on technology is helping to lower Australia’s emissions, while also reducing electricity bills.”

Applications for grants under the program opened in March 2021. Each Federal MP, with the assistance of a committee representing the local community, nominated projects and invited groups to apply for the grant funding.

The Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources selected the successful applicants after considering them for eligibility and completeness.