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Solar savings reach new levels

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Magnetic Island residents are reaping the benefits of their energy efficient actions, saving more than $900,000 on electricity bills since the Townsville Queensland Solar City project began four years ago. Sustainable behaviour changes combined with a range of other actions including upgrading to energy efficient appliances has led to a significant reduction in electricity consumption.

Solar City Manager Ian Cruickshank said electricity consumption had been constantly reducing on the island. “Residents have continued to reduce the amount of electricity they use on a daily basis, and consumption levels are now 12 per cent below the peak annual usage, having returned to 2007 levels,” he said.

“In August this year alone, residents reduced their energy consumption by 8.5 per cent compared to the same time last year.

“This means the project has bettered one of its key project aims of deferring the installation of a third undersea cable. Initially due to be installed in six years at the beginning of the project, it has now been deferred until 2017.”

As well, the project continues to hit other milestones, with 675kW of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels installed across the island generating their first Gigawatt hour of renewable energy.

“This is enough to power a school of 1200 students for two years, so the systems have made a significant contribution to the electricity needs of local residents,” Mr Cruickshank said. More than 75 per cent of residents on Magnetic Island have taken part in an energy assessment at their home or business.

“Following the energy assessment, residents saved an average of 4 per cent on their electricity bills, compared to the same period prior to the assessment.

“A year later, they were saving an average of 8 per cent which shows that not only have residents maintained their savings, they have increased them.

“This is a great result and is an example of what can be achieved when people make a commitment to changing their energy use behaviour,” said Ian. The Townsville Queensland Solar City project is part of the Australian Government’s Solar Cities program. Working with all levels of government, industry and the community, the projects aims to reduce overall electricity use and peak demand.

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Ergon EnergyTownsville City CouncilDelfinHoneycombesCafaloQueensland Government