Local owner of the award winning Rooster Restaurant and Jamison Guesthouse, Ross Delaney has made significant renovations to the heritage-listed building to ensure energy efficiency without compromising the 1890s Edwardian architecture or structure. Double-glazing, time regulated central heating, waste management, LED lighting and energy efficient globes he been installed since joining the LCL Program 2 years ago.  

With the roof too steep for solar panels Low Carbon Living - Blue Mountains director John Merson advised Ross switch to a renewable energy provider. After researching the following link, https://www.choice.com.au/home-improvement/energy-saving/reducing-your-carbon-footprint/articles/green-electricity-review#Table Ross has switched to Powershop – the Melbourne-based Australian retail arm of New Zealand public company, Meridian Energy.

Meridian Energy is Australasia’s largest 100% renewable generator with two massive wind farms in Victoria and South Australia, generating an accumulative 580 GWh of renewable energy annually – enough for 116,000 households and businesses. It is also supported by the National GreenPower program.

The GreenPower Program is a government-managed scheme that enables energy consumers to choose, renewable energy providers that generate electricity from wind, solar, water and bioenergy. The amount of electricity purchased on behalf of each consumer is added to the grid to offset fossil fuel and coal seam gas generated electricity

 The Green Electricity Guide recognises Powershop as Australias first carbon neutral accredited power company. “Net emissions associated with a carbon neutral product or an organisation’s activities are equal to zero”, due to offsetting residual emissions via the National Carbon Offset Standard (NCOS).  NCOS measures a company’s residual carbon emissions for which equivalent carbon credits can be purchased. Carbon credits are then used to buy internationally accredited plantation trees that sequester atmospheric to biological carbon at they grow.

Ross Delaney’s priorities are to reduce his energy bills in the long-term, invest in 100% renewable energy and make his business more efficient. In the last quarter before switching to Powershop, Ross’s electricity bill amounted to $5000. “Relative to wage and food and ingredients it’s not too bad”, he says. He’s expecting his next bill to be a little bit higher but “it’s 100% green”.

Ross’s plans eventually to re-consider  solar panel insallation, a reputable solar water heater and to replace gas heating with reverse cycle air conditioning. “If others in the industry have suggestions about becoming more green” says Ross, “I’m willing to take them on board”.

Blackheath’s Vesta Restaurant owners may soon be in a position to advise Ross on a solar panel system. Vesta’s venue is perfectly suited to energy efficient modifications that would address the impact of this local business’s carbon footprint and reduce energy waste and cost in the longer term.

The restaurant’s roof is north facing which would maximise the use of solar panels. To ensure the production of solar energy is most effective, solar batteries would also be considered for storage and usage 24 hours a day. Katoomba-based Blue Mountains Solar supplies Sunpower™ Solar panels and local business owner Damien McMahon is currently holding weekly solar seminars at The Powerhouse showroom in Katoomba on Saturdays, with sessions at 9am and 11am.

Vesta Restaurant’s main attraction, the 120-year-old scotch oven, is a reliable and cost-effective source of heat, reducing the business’s heating costs dramatically and ensuring its energy bills are consistent throughout the year.  The annual electricity bills amount to an average of $10,000, which would mean the investment in solar panels would be recouped in about 18 months.