The sun may have set on the incredible AFL career of Geelong legend Gary Ablett Jr, but it's shining brightly on his electricity bills, thanks to a new venture with RACV Solar.
While he earned fame following his father's footsteps on the football field, Gary Ablett Jr and his mum Sue Brown - who is making her first ever public appearance – is shining a light on renewable energy across Victoria. Gary Ablett Jr has joined forces with RACV Solar to encourage Geelong and Surf Coast residents to switch to solar.
Like more than 200 households in the region, the Ablett's have joined the Geelong Community Solar Program, trusting RACV Solar to install panels and a battery on their homes that are next door to each other.
The two-time Brownlow medallist is passionate about the environment. "I love getting out in nature, I love my hiking, surfing and having renewable energy in my house is important to me to keep costs down as well as ensure a sustainable future.
"Now that we've got solar and a battery installed by RACV Solar, it's nice to know everything I am doing is all powered by solar. It has been great, and I want to encourage others on the surf coast to look into it," Mr Ablett Jr said.
On average, 20.9 per cent of dwellings in Greater Geelong, and 23.5 per cent of dwellings on the surf coast have solar. This is compared to the East and Northeast of Victoria where many Local Government Areas have over 30 per cent.
The Geelong Community Solar program aims to fast-track the uptake of renewable energy in the Greater Geelong, Surf Coast, Colac Otway and Golden Plains Shires and the Borough of Queenscliffe. The initiative is supported by all five councils and will be open until the end of December this year.
RACV Solar CEO Andy McCarthy said the program launched earlier this year had been an overwhelming success. "Households and businesses get the benefit of accessing quality, affordable solar and battery storage, with peace of mind knowing that they'll be looked after well into the future. We see renewable energy as a chance to do it all; lower energy bills, create local jobs and look after the environment.
Gary Ablett Jr was so pleased with RACV Solar and his new power bill; he got them to install panels and a storage battery on his mother's home and became an ambassador to help encourage other locals to consider solar energy.
"It's great to be working with the RACV Solar installation team, they're professional, reliable, and it's great to know they're local. I wanted to ensure I chose the best quality product and service for mum, my family and my community," Mr Ablett Jr said.
The star who retired from AFL last year to spend more time with his wife Jordan and young son Levi loves that his son is growing up in the same community he did.
"I spent a lot of my childhood here in Jan Juc, and it's just a great lifestyle. It's a beautiful coastline, and it's important that we protect it any way we can," Mr Ablett Jr said.