On September 10th 2007, Mayor Peter McDonald sought council funding for the introduction of solar panels at South Steyne, North Steyne and Queenscliff Surf Clubs. “The three clubs have served the public for many years, becoming icons of our community, “ he said, “and it would be wonderful to see them lead by example in becoming environmental icons as well. The clubs will be supplied with solar hot water and photo-voltaic cells will be installed in the roofs to generate all their electricity requirements.”
The initiative cost around $25,000 per surf club to install less any grants the clubs could secure. The solar power will cover the clubs' hot water needs. But according to Macdonald, who proposed the plan, it is money well spent.
"It is a combination of showcasing environmental technology in positions between Queenscliff and South Steyne and it results in significant uptake by surrounding residents," Macdonald said.
A similar project was piloted by South Coast Tathra Surf Club and in addition to significant power savings 800 residents subsequently installed solar energy, he added.
The campaign was named, Life Saving Energy. Manly was quick to follow. In December 2007 at Manly Environment Centre’s ‘Ocean Care Day’, North Steyne Surf Life Saving Club was officially recognised as a Life Saving Energy Surf Club by Mayor Peter MacDonald and General Manager, Henry Wong. The launch also featured a giant human sign proclaiming ‘Life Saving Energy’.