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Solar City project saves up to $13,000 on annual holiday apartment electricity bills

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An innovative partnership on Magnetic Island between the Townsville: Queensland Solar City project and the property managers at One Bright Point apartment complex could save an average of $220 a year per unit.

As well, the energy savings have led to around 80 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions avoided each year for the 60 apartments involved.

Solar City Manager Ian Cruickshank said this was a milestone first step towards engaging property owners and managers in creating energy efficient holiday dwellings.

“The initiatives so far undertaken include a major appliance control systems trial, lighting changes, reducing the temperature on hot water systems and switching off the hot water service and air conditioning between tenancies,” Ian said.

“It’s important to note that this last point involved switching the units off at the wall, as leaving appliances on standby just wastes electricity and costs money.

“As well, the project will shortly be trialling an innovative air conditioning sensor device that has the potential to save about 1300kWh per year per unit, and pay for itself in around 12 months.

“All of these things are simple to do, won’t compromise customer comfort or the level of service offered at One Bright Point and will contribute towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions during the holiday makers stay on beautiful Magnetic Island.”

These savings are an approximate value to each apartment based on the changes made, the energy consumption of the appliance when in use, and assumptions of usage levels and occupancy rates.  The total implemented is around $220 per year, or 1300kWh - equivalent to about 1.3 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per unit avoided. Additionally, the trial of the Major Appliance Control System provides supply relief during times of exceptionally high demand on the electricity network feeding Magnetic Island.

One Bright Point Property Management team, Sam and Alicia Wood, said it was an easy decision to become involved with the Solar City team.

“When we were initially contacted, we were excited by the possibilities for our owners to save money on their bills, while also becoming more environmentally friendly.  We have 60 owners who are participating and they are more than happy to have the prompts placed in their unit to gently remind holiday makers of energy efficient behaviour.

“All of the commercial assessments have been completed, smart meters are installed and the reminders are now in place so we are ready for our guests to come over and enjoy this beautiful island in a sustainable manner.  Guests also now have a shopping bag to use while here then take home with them, filled with postcards, kids activities and energy saving tips,” Alicia said.

As well, Bright Point owners, and other Magnetic Island Solar City Project participants, can also take the opportunity to save money if planning an upgrade or renovation.
 
“Our rebate vouchers can help you save money on your next energy efficient appliance purchase and can also be used in conjunction with government rebates,” Ian said.

“We have a range of rebates available and can contribute to various energy efficiency measures including painting your roof white, switching to gas cooking and upgrading to high energy star rated appliances.”

On the Island, commercial enterprises working with the project include Island Palms, who saved almost $2000 on a planned upgrade to new energy efficient fridges and televisions, and X-base, who have replaced seven old electric hot water systems with two solar systems, saving on their electricity bills and reducing demand during the critical peak period by around 40kW.

Ergon EnergyTownsville City CouncilDelfinHoneycombesCafaloQueensland Government