Australia's first solar suburb


A solar-powered-only suburb in Australia will reduce their carbon footprint by approximately a third


A suburb in Australia's capital city, Canberra, will be the first to have a minimum requirement for solar power for every home, after a recent announcement by Capital Estate Developments.

In Denman Prospect, each dwelling will be required to include a three kilowatt (kW) solar system, says managing director Stephen Byron.

The proposed model is said to reduce the carbon footprint of the entire suburb by approximately a third, based on readings for an average home.

hgfImage: Paul Sadler

To ensure it is convenient and user-friendly, the model implements the use of Wi-Fi, where an app allows families to check their generation, said Byron.

Capital Estate Developments partnered up with Canberra electricity and natural gas energy company, ActewAGL, for the project, allowing the collaboration to bulk-buy solar systems to supply the first 350 homes at Denman Prospects.

For the average home, a 3kW system will generate about 4,000kWh of clean electricity, reducing emissions from fossil-fuel power by approximately 3.7 tonnes a year, which is about the same as an average Australian car.

Based on a typical annual electricity consumption of 7,000 kWh for new, six-star homes, and based on current residential tariffs, a 3kW solar system will reduce a homeowner's annual electricity bill from approximately $1500 to $1000 (from £708.60 to £472.4), which equates to a third (saving $500 i.e. £236.2).

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The cost of the system will be repaid in approximately seven to eight years.

'In terms of environmental benefits, every installation will be like taking a car off the road and it will reduce the carbon footprint of the entire suburb by about a third,' Byron said.

'An Australian first, this is a substantial and meaningful commitment to environmental sustainability and follows our commitment to funding from the entire suburb for the Homes for Homes social housing initiative,' he continued.

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