Vinnies Victoria Is Going Solar, Saving $1.26m On Power Bills!

Aug 27, 2021by Olivia - F&F

Who doesn’t love an amazing op-shop find? Now, shopping second-hand will be better for the planet… in more ways than one! St Vincent de Paul Society recently announced that all Vinnies shops across the state of Victoria will be fitted with solar panels by 2022.  

Solar PowerSolar Power

Vinnies Shops In Victoria Will Be Powered By The Sun

Over the next decade, 91 systems will be installed across Vinnies’ Victorian locations — boasting up to 1.6 MW of solar capacity and capable of generating 1,992 MWh of clean, renewable electricity annually!

Aside from reducing energy-related greenhouse gas emissions, the transition to renewable energy is expected to save the charity organisation a whopping $1.26 million in power bills — which is fantastic news for Victorians that are in need of assistance! Vinnies Victoria CEO, Sue Cattermole, said the extra funds would be diverted to the people that need it most. “Last year, we assisted more than 282,625 people with necessities – rent, utility bills, food. This year we anticipate the demand to rise. Every cent that Vinnies Victoria saves go towards helping vulnerable Victorians,” Cattermole said.

Vinnies VictoriaVinnies Victoria

Alleviating Poverty, Social Injustice — And Climate Change!

With over 12,000 members and volunteers, Vinnies Victoria has been operating for over 165 years, aiming to improve the lives of people who desperately need help. Aside from helping the vulnerable, Vinnies promotes a sustainable and circular economy by giving a second life to used items. In 2019, Vinnies sold around 11.5 million second-hand items and clothing garments to nearly four million customers, and helped divert more than 3.5 million kilos of apparel from landfill. Amazing, right?

“As Vinnies Victoria looks to provide practical assistance to people in need, we recognise the disproportionate impact climate change can have on people living in poverty. Therefore, it follows that we have a responsibility to mitigate our own contribution to climate change,” the charity said.

Vinnies Victoria Is Australia’s First Carbon-Neutral Charity  Vinnies Victoria Is Australia’s First Carbon-Neutral Charity  

Vinnies Victoria Is Australia’s First Carbon-Neutral Charity  

Yep, that’s right — Vinnies Victoria has been certified carbon-neutral since July 2020 under the Climate Active scheme! The Climate Active certification awards businesses and organisations that have reached a state of carbon neutrality.

According to Vinnies Victoria, the certification aligns so strongly with the charity’s values that it has already inspired significant staff engagement across the whole organisation — staff members have expressed their enthusiasm for the news, willingness to further develop our carbon reduction activities and to share news of this fantastic achievement.

Aside from supporting renewable energy carbon offset projects in Queensland, India, China and the Philippines, Vinnies Victoria is also planning on tackling its vehicle-related carbon emissions by switching to electric-hybrid vehicles!

We’re so excited to hear that Vinnies Victoria is going solar. The state-wide switch to renewable electricity will slash the charity’s carbon emissions and power bills — it’s truly a win-win!

Visit Climate Active to read more about Vinnies Victoria’s commitment to carbon-neutrality, and head to to donate, find help, or get involved!

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