SA councils support renewable energy

Six South Australian metropolitan councils are set to champion renewable energy solutions to communities as a result of a 12 month pilot scheme established by the Local Government Association of South Australia (LGASA) in partnership with ZEN Home Energy Systems.

The metropolitan pilot includes Holdfast Bay, Marion, Onkaparinga, Playford, Port Adelaide Enfield and West Torrens Councils.

LGASA Executive Director Wendy Campana said the councils would offer residents an introduction to renewable energy via forums and written information and ZEN would provide a free assessment and quote, specific to individual homeowners requirements.

“LGASA and councils are absolutely committed to promoting renewable energy through our Climate Change strategy and we believe this initiative will deliver results,” she said.

The metropolitan pilot follows a successful regional program last year, which was led by Victor Harbor and involved eight other councils.

Data from this program shows 800 participating homeowners are generating power savings estimated at $250,000 and reducing carbon emissions by 1,170 tonnes each year.

Participants in the Victor Harbor program paid a small registration fee, which was matched by ZEN. These funds were used to engage the University of Adelaide to conduct localised research into other renewable energy initiatives.

Wendy Campana said the pilot project will be managed by the LG Corporate Services Group, which undertook a due diligence process of ZEN’s operations within the renewable energy industry.

“Information gathered during this pilot will be thoroughly assessed before further development of community and council uptake of renewable energy systems through LGASA,” she said. “No aspect of the arrangement prevents any resident from evaluating a ZEN proposal, doing their own homework and then deciding on an alternative provider.”

ZEN will be providing a contribution of between $100 and $200 for each efficiency enhancing unit sold during the pilot. It will also provide ongoing data assessment and monitoring to provide information back to homeowners and for aggregate research. The money will be retained in a research and development fund to be managed by the LGASA.

In a parallel arrangement, the same councils will be pilots for assessment of use of solar technology on council buildings.

“This provides the opportunity for ratepayers to benefit twice where councils gain savings over time from use of renewable energy on community facilities and council buildings,” Wendy Campana said.