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Wangaratta Private Hospital flicks the switch on solar power

September 24, 2021

Wangaratta Private Hospital is harnessing the power of the sun with a brand new solar panel system set to slash its energy use and emissions.

The 100 kilowatt (kW) system, situated on Wangaratta Private’s roof, will generate 15% of the hospital’s electricity use, saving more than 3,000 tonnes of carbon emissions over its lifespan. 

Chief Executive Officer Trevor Matheson said the switch to solar was part of the hospital’s commitment to reduce its environmental footprint. 

“We are really excited to be making this important switch to solar because, as a Ramsay hospital, we acknowledge that climate change is a critical issue and we’re focused on cutting our energy and water use and increasing our sustainability initiatives,” Mr Matheson said. 

“Saving 3,000 tonnes of carbon emissions is the equivalent of taking 55 cars off the road - and that’s a lot of cars! 

“The switch to solar is not only great for the environment, it’s also great for our bottom line and we’ll be saving approximately $17,000 every year in electricity costs. Furthermore, this system will pay for itself in around four years. 

“We are also thankful to have been able to partner with a great local firm, Watters Electrical who kept us informed throughout the project and installed the system with professionalism and no disruption to clinical services,” Mr Matheson said 

Federal member for Indi, Helen Haines welcomed the hospital’s switch to solar. 

“Installing solar panels on a building like Wangaratta Private is a great investment, not just for the hospital itself but for our future. It will help generations to come,” Dr Haines said. 

“I am proud to see projects like this in the electorate of Indi. We are fast becoming a leader in embracing renewables and this is just another reason why the rest of Australia is looking to Indi as an example of just what can be achieved with renewables.” 

In other sustainability measures, Wangaratta Private Hospital is in the process of switching its lights to energy efficient LED bulbs. It no longer uses plastic water bottles and is replacing single use plastic items, such as disposable cutlery, with recyclable alternatives. 

The sustainability push is part of Ramsay Health Care’s Ramsay Cares strategy - which focuses on creating stronger communities, healthier people and a thriving planet. 

In the past year, 94% of Ramsay sites have committed to eliminating single-use plastic water bottles, 98% of its unwanted IT assets have been repurposed and more than 30,000 PVC intravenous bags have been recycled. 

Ramsay Australia won the 2021 HESTA Nursing and Midwifery Award for ‘Outstanding Organisation’ for its sustainability efforts. 

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