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POWER TO THE PEOPLE

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POWER TO THE PEOPLE
Published 15 May 2017
Innovative new technologies, affordable alternatives…Playford residents and businesses are on a mission to reduce their energy costs.

Innovative new technologies, affordable alternatives…Playford residents and businesses are on a mission to reduce their energy costs. ^^ Fluid Solar's Roger Davies at Light Avenue Munno Para and an artist's impression of how a proposed new eco-friendly apartment complex will look at the site. Let’s face it, over the past year South Australia has been in the spotlight for failing to “keep the lights on”.

Power problems have brought unwelcome attention to the state.

While this is concerning, in Playford there’s a new wave of companies, resourceful residents and energy providers who’ve already found solutions.

Fluid Solar recently opened the world’s first off-grid office complex opposite the Lyell McEwin Hospital at Elizabeth Vale.

Owner Roger Davies and his team successfully captured solar energy in tubes on the roof of the four-storey complex, stored it in hot and cold water tanks and then generated thermal energy.

For the medical and technology start-ups who co-use the working spaces that means they can concentrate on operating their business without running up high energy costs. Buzzing businesses

Other businesses across the northern suburbs are also eager to benefit from Fluid Solar’s renewable energy expertise.

Recently nearly 100 businesses and energy solution providers met face to face at Fluid House for a “speed networking forum”.

Some used virtual reality technology to give customers an interactive tool for controlling energy use.

Tom Brdanovic, from DTE Sustainable Solutions, offers on-site inspections to help customers identify short- and long-term efficiencies.

“Our overview costs vary between six and 20 thousand dollars, depending on the size of business,” Mr Brdanovic said.

“If they haven’t done anything in terms of energy conservation we predict they will return that money within 15 months and two years."

Cost-cutting residents

In Munno Para, the City of Playford has approved a Fluid Solar proposal to build a 24-unit complex on Light Avenue that uses the same amount of power as just one domestic house.

“We’re building modern, affordable rentals for low-income earners like students, single parents and people living with disabilities,” Mr Davies said.

“Ideally, it’ll cost them around $200 a week for a two-bedroom apartment.

“Eventually, for those with a guaranteed income we want to help those tenants rent-to-buy their homes.”

For those looking to buy a home now, another South Australian developer is offering a variety of houses with a low-carbon footprint.

Co-Built’s latest project, ‘Ecorise @ Playford’ ticks all the boxes for energy efficiency, according to owner Lucio Mucci

“We are currently building 22 brand-new properties at Munno Para West - all with a seven-star energy rating for a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home that will only cost around $270,000,” Mr Mucci said.

If you need help finding strategies for energy costs, contact Tim Kelly (8260 8283 or tkelly@playford.sa.gov.au).