The iconic Townsville Queensland Solar City project showcases the future of sustainable living in Australia – with a ‘Solar Suburb’ on Magnetic Island central to its success. In its final term, after four years of significant engagement, the project is delivering game-changing results.
Importantly, it has achieved a key goal – to provide a replicable model of how solar energy and energy efficiency can deliver environmental and economic benefits.
Driven by the desire to reduce carbon emissions and defer the need for an additional undersea electricity cable in the World Heritage marine environment, in 2011/12 Magnetic Islanders reduced peak electricity usage by 44% and slashed overall consumption by an average of 40%, bringing both down to 2005 levels.
Much of this has been achieved thanks to a communications strategy which has focussed on deeper and sustained engagement to embed a long-term approach to energy use – the re-usable energy behaviour change model - which also includes hosting solar arrays for community rather than personal benefit.
It has captured public imagination, enlisted local support and changed customer behaviour in an entire community to deliver a formidable assault on traditional models.
A part of the Australian Government’s Solar Cities program, Ergon Energy leads the Townsville-based Solar City consortium, which also includes Townsville City Council, local developers and funding from the Queensland Government