Vistarus curbs costs with solar power

2018-01-17 06:01
An aerial view of the solar panels used at Vistarus Mission Station.         Photos: SUPPLIED

An aerial view of the solar panels used at Vistarus Mission Station. Photos: SUPPLIED

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PROVIDING 450 people with electricity every day has left the Vistarus Mission Station faced with an annual utilities account of just under R1 million.

Vistarus Mission Station in Sydenham, which was founded in 1998 by Kobus and Lynette Jacobs, provides shelter to homeless and needy families, restoring their dignity by empowering them with life skills and creating job opportunities for them.

The centre also incorporates a recycling programme, a plastic extrusion plant and a woodwork centre.

The astronomical amount of the cost of electricity used by the centre impacts this non-profit organisation’s operational costs severely.

“Consider the energy cost of cooking meals, taking showers and of electricity for up to 450 people at any one time, every day. We, therefore, made a decision to go forward in faith and install a 322-panel solar energy system to capture the sun’s energy and convert it to provide electricity and to heat water for people accommodated and provided for at the centre.

“This is the first of two phases that will enable Vistarus to be totally energy efficient in the future,” explained Kobus Jacobs.

“My wife, Lynette, and I made a conscious decision to enhance our ‘going green’ project by partnering with local experts Tim Whittaker, Rubicon and Kwikelec to ensure less money is spent on energy and the financial focus can once again be on programme delivery to the people at the centre where the restoration of broken minds, bodies and souls take place.”

Jacobs added that solar panels for the second phase can be sponsored at R2 500 per ­panel.

“We are appealing to the public to assist us. Donations above R100 are tax deductible with the provision of a SARS Section 18(A) tax certificate. Donors will be making a lasting difference to the lives of persons who have fallen on hard times.”

For more information contact Nadia Jacobs at Vistarus on 041 484 1106 or go to www.vistarus.co.za or on facebook – Vistarus Mission Station.

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