Media Release – 3rd September 2015
Onsite power generation through solar is helping aged care facilities reduce a dominant operating expense within their budget. The benefit of long-term savings delivered in an environmentally sustainable way has driven a strong interest from the growing aged care sector.
Australia’s aged care facilities are facing unprecedented growth driven from an ageing population and heightened competition to meet the demands of the market. Operators seeking to meet this demand are consistently looking to enhance their facilities in a sustainable and cost effective way.
Solar power can play a key role in meeting the energy demands of an aged care facility, while delivering significant cost savings and enhancing the facility’s sustainable profile. These costs savings create opportunities for further service enhancements to the facility and greater returns for investors.
Solgen Energy Director David Naismith said, “It is not surprising that an asset that can deliver returns in excess of 20% is attracting strong interest. The profile of energy consumption within the aged care sector makes a very compelling business case irrespective of the size of the operator.”
“As returns have grown, purchasing channels for solar power systems have also grown. While purchasing outright generally still generates the best returns, financing options under power purchase agreements or leasing mean the system can be installed at zero cost from day one. The savings generated are then used to pay the financing over the term – irrespective, it still ends up cash flow positive for the business.”
As well as existing aged care facilities looking to reduce their operational costs, there are many which are in the development and planning stages and are looking to implement sustainable cost saving measures. Solar power offers a compelling case for minimising running costs for the facility and the benefit of its residents.
A recent example of a successful rollout of solar power in the aged care sector includes the 100kW rooftop solar power installation for Loreto Nursing Home in Townsville. The system which integrates seamlessly with their existing backup generator will produce around 180 MWh annually of self-produced energy and generate over 189.2 tonnes of emission savings throughout the year. A system such as this will generate a payback equivalent of less than 3 years and returns of over 30%.
The electricity generated is enough to run over 30 average households for an entire year.
Mark Joyce, the Project Officer at Mercy Community Services North Queensland Ltd said, “The decision to install a solar power system on the Loreto Nursing Home facility has proved a sensible and extremely beneficial exercise resulting in a noticeable financial saving to date.”
More recently, Solgen Energy was awarded a 100kW solar power project for SwanCare Group, a leading provider of residential care facilities who unveiled its plan for 44 new architect-designed apartments that are currently being sold off the plan and expected to be completed late 2016. A rooftop solar photovoltaic system is set to further reduce the energy consumption and running costs of the entire building. The project is planned for completion at the end of this year.
It is safe to say that the aged care sector is a booming one with a strong future ahead. With Australia’s ageing population, is the need for age-appropriate housing and according to a market research report by IBIS in July this year, an estimated 6.1 million Australians are aged over 55, but only 6.0% of this number live in retirement villages. Over the past five years, the industry has continued to expand, offering different lifestyle accommodation options and aged-care services. This expansion is set to develop further, as is the increase in aged care facilities turning to solar.
For further information on Solgen Energy or to request an obligation free proposal, please visit www.solgen.com.au.
About Solgen Energy
Solgen Energy the flagship business behind the Solgen Group is a leading commercial solar engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) group. With unrivalled experience in the design and construction of commercial-scale solar electric systems for government and businesses across Australia, Solgen Energy has completed many of Australia’s most iconic solar projects. Further information can be found at: www.solgen.com.au
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