College benefits from Switch to Save program

ARARAT - Marian College has benefited from the Bendigo Bank's Switch to Save initiative, with the Ararat branch presenting a cheque to the college.

More than 13,000 Victorians have participated in the Bendigo Bank's Switch to Save initiative which may help home owners lower their energy bills and reduce their impact on the environment.

The program operated from June 1 to July 31 this year and invited customers and members of the community (including those who don't bank with Bendigo) to visit the Bendigo Bank branch and sign up to have standby power controllers, called Embertec SmartSwitches, valued at $100 each, installed in their homes for free.

Bendigo Bank partnered with Energy Makeovers, an Australian company dedicated to assisting families and businesses with energy efficiency solutions, to deliver and install the switches in participating households.

Ararat Bendigo Bank branch manager Tim Plush said the simple switches have been installed in more than 13,000 Victorian homes and 35 Ararat and Stawell homes, saving an estimated $27 million in energy costs over the next 10 years and 135,000 tonnes in greenhouse gas emissions.

"The simple switches are already making a big difference and could save households as much as $200 a year in energy costs, but that's not the only saving being made, with each home reducing its average emissions by more than 10 tonnes," Mr Plush said.

"When you consider this across the entire Switch and Save program, that's the equivalent of taking more than 30,000 cars off the road for a whole year."

In addition to saving money and the environment, Bendigo Bank also made a commitment to support local schools in introducing or enhancing sustainable programs.

"For every participating household our branches will distribute $17 to help support a neighbouring school undertake sustainable projects," Mr Plush said.

"This has seen $229,755 distributed to 224 schools, including $595 which will go to Marian College here in Ararat."

Marian College business manager Sandra Faneco said the money will be used to upgrade recycling enclosures in the school grounds.

"This is a fantastic show of support from the Ararat Bendigo Bank Branch and we look forward to furthering the education of our community's young people in environment and sustainability issues," she said.

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