Case studies

South Australia is on the way to achieving an ambitious vision for a low carbon, resilient economy. Here are some case studies:

  • Innovation

    Cisco – piloting smart city technologies in Adelaide

    Global technology company Cisco has partnered with the Government of South Australia and the Adelaide City Council to pilot smart city technologies and establish the Adelaide Smart City Studio as part of its global Lighthouse City program. Two pilot projects have already commenced – one to replace existing street lights with sensor-driven LED lights to demonstrate power saving and smart control capabilities, and another to deploy cameras that remotely monitor the use of on-street carparks. Other projects will address environmental monitoring and people movement. The Smart City Studio will identify opportunities for further projects and help businesses, entrepreneurs and industry transform smart city inspiration into successful products and services.  


    Zen Technologies – innovating in battery storage solutions

    ZEN Technologies (Power and Energy) Pty Ltd was established in South Australia in 2004, to develop innovative solar and energy storage technologies. The company is a key player in the solar and emerging battery storage market, selling renewable energy systems to households and commercial operations. ZEN Energy recently announced an expanded business model, becoming Australia’s first dedicated community energy retail provider, offering zero/low carbon generation options, including solar and battery storage solutions, to power entire new developments and legacy micro grid communities. In 2014, DEWNR engaged ZEN Technologies to provide a solar and battery storage energy solution for the refurbished Seal Bay Visitor Information Centre on Kangaroo Island. The centre now has a 20kW fixed ground solar voltaic panel system and a 7.5kW/40kWh Powerbank system, providing all the energy needs for this off-grid site. ZEN Technologies currently has 40 staff based at its Tonsley headquarters, however business expansion is expected to increase job creation for the South Australian company, including specialist and technical roles in the wider economy, and facilitate the growth of low carbon living and communities.


    Heliostat SA – innovating in large scale solar technologies

    To facilitate the transition from traditional manufacturing and showcase new industries and innovation, four South Australian partners Precision Components, the University of South Australia, May Brothers and Enersalt came together to create Heliostat SA. Using solar thermal energy technology developed by the CSIRO, CSPV concentrated solar photovoltaic (the new multi-junction cells) and conventional photovoltaic PV tracking Heliostat SA develops utility scale projects, manufactures and constructs these systems. Heliostat SA has successfully established agreements to support the growing energy needs of India, Japan and the Asia Pacific. The agreements will see the deployment of 3 gigawatts of capacity (1 gigawatt is equal to 1 billion watts enough to supply a city the size of Adelaide) with the creation of hundreds of new jobs at Heliostat SA’s site at Beverley over the next two years.


    Sundrop Farms – innovating in solar energy

    Sundrop Farms Pty Ltd in Port Augusta is revolutionising horticulture by growing premium produce in an arid climate, using a state-of-the-art greenhouse facility that uses seawater and solar thermal energy to produce electricity, desalinate water and warm the greenhouse. The South Australian Government awarded $345,000 to Sundrop Farms in 2011 to demonstrate the use of solar energy in horticulture. In 2013, the CEFC committed $40 million in debt finance, which facilitated a growth capital raise from the private sector. This capital underpins the construction of a 20 hectare greenhouse facility, which is scheduled for completion in 2016 and is expected to create approximately 175 jobs.


    Siemens and Carbon Neutral Adelaide partnership – identifying the right technologies to reduce city emissions

    The Carbon Neutral Adelaide Partnership worked closely with global technology giant Siemens to assess the environmental and economic impacts of over 70 building, transport and energy technologies for the city using Siemens’ City Performance Tool. The tool can assist in modelling technology uptake and the associated greenhouse gas emission reduction and air quality impacts, as well as the creation of local jobs to install, operate and maintain technologies. The tool will inform the development of the Carbon Neutral Adelaide Action Plan, allowing city planners to prioritise infrastructure investments based on measurable benefits for growth and sustainability.

  • Leadership

    Greening Adelaide

    Legends of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon describe a series of tiered gardens, a ‘green mountain’ of trees, shrubs, and vines emerging from a desert city. One of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the gardens were a great source of pride to the city dwellers and a remarkable feat of engineering.

    But it hasn’t taken 2000 years to rediscover the benefit of green space in our cities. Adelaide has always been proud of its city plan that includes parklands and green areas drawn up by the city’s first Surveyor, Colonel William Light.

    As development over the years has seen more and more buildings and infrastructure become part of the city, a renewed effort is being made to generate a better balance between bricks and mortar, and trees and water.

    To lead by example, the Adelaide City Council is undertaking a ‘Greener Streets’ Program, including a residential greening pilot in the west, streetscape improvements and a green wall at the council’s head office in Pirie Street. The program received $1 million funding in 2015/16, increasing to $2.4 million in 2016/17. These projects will provide developers and city building owners with examples of how a greener Adelaide can be achieved.

    In addition, the council has published the Adelaide Design Manual (currently under review) and Green Infrastructure Guidelines. These online publications provide developers with ideas and guidance on how green infrastructure can be incorporated into buildings and streetscapes.

    Adelaide City Council has set ambitious but achievable goals when it comes to greening and sustainability aiming to increase green space and greenery in built up areas of the City by 100,000 square metres by 2020.


    A touch down for Adelaide Airport

    The importance of air transport for SA’s economy was clear from the moment Adelaide brothers Ross and Keith Smith made the first official flight from England to Australia in 1919.

    Today, Adelaide Airport is the major gateway to SA serving more than 7 million international and domestic passengers and a further 14 million people who meet and greet visitors here annually.

    In recent years, Adelaide has been the fastest growing capital city airport in the country, while at the same time being the first airport in Australia to be recognised by the global Airport Carbon

    Accreditation program for optimising the management and reduction of carbon emissions.

    In its first climate change adaptation plan Adelaide Airport Ltd (AAL) has used the latest available climate science and projections from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Australian Government’s national science agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

    “Environmental compliance and sustainability for AAL are things we can control and do well. By taking a leadership role, we can also achieve much more. Through collaboration and negotiation with our stakeholders we are helping to guide change across our sphere of influence,” says Managing Director Mark Young. Today’s airport is also designed and maintained to withstand future climatic conditions, including extreme weather events, so that the organisation can continue to deliver excellence in service into the future.


    Solar a win-win for Di Fava Group

    For property developers and managers the Di Fava Group, installing a large solar system on Naylor House at 191 Pulteney Street, Adelaide was absolutely a win-win situation.

    “Increasingly our tenants are seeking green innovation in their work places and that means as landlords we are looking for ways to deliver what they want and make our properties even more appealing,” said Sam Di Fava.

    “This starts with improving building services, then solar power takes it to the next level in a very tangible way. It will significantly cut our running costs and also help with our NABERS [National Australian Built Environment Rating System] energy rating, which is important.”

    This is exactly the type of approach the City of Adelaide and the State Government are keen to support, and the Di Fava Group was eligible for a $5000 rebate for installing a solar system greater than 20kW under the Sustainability Incentives Scheme.

    The money helped purchase a 100kW solar system – the largest allowed for six-story Naylor House.

    The 400 solar panels were installed in December 2015 and are already starting to pay their way. Mr Di Fava said total energy use from the grid fell by 6% in January 2016.

    “Obviously the figure will change from month to month across the year, but it has been a very good investment for us both financially and in terms of creating a more environmentally friendly building.”


    Sustainability Incentives Scheme tells investors that Adelaide is ‘serious’

    For global real estate management firm JLL, participating in the Sustainability Incentives Scheme simply made sound business sense.

    The company was keen to improve the NABERS (National Australian Built Environment Rating System) rating for the premium office building it manages at 45 Pirie Street, Adelaide by installing a large solar array, and a rebate reduced expenditure on the investment by around 3%, helping to deliver a positive long-term return to investors.

    Under the scheme, JLL was approved to receive up to $5000 on a percentage scale against total expenditure.

    “We wanted to improve both capital value and rental returns through improved sustainability credentials of the asset,” said JLL’s Director of Engineering and Operational Solutions in South Australia, Paul Lemmey.

    “The system has produced an average 12.5MWh of energy per month since commissioning, saving the owner around $2500 in energy costs from the grid per month.”

    Mr Lemmey said the Incentives Scheme sent an important message to property investors that Adelaide was serious in the promotion of low carbon investments to the broader property market.

    “This is being readily taken up to bring significant benefit to not only the owners of the assets and their tenants, but to the broader global fight against climate change,” he said.


    World Solar Challenge nearly 30 years of electric vehicle innovation

    The South Australian Government is the proud owner of the World Solar Challenge - the world’s premier challenge to design and build a solar powered electric vehicle and drive it across the Australian continent from Darwin to Adelaide. Since the Challenge commenced in 1987 the event has contributed to global innovations in electric vehicle technologies including electric drivetrains, energy storage and energy management, as well as advanced and lightweight materials, aerodynamics, tyres, braking systems and of course solar photovoltaics. Attracting over 40 teams from 25 countries it provides the adventure of a lifetime for the thousands that have embraced the opportunity to participate.


    Uniting Communities South Australia's first carbon neutral organisation

    Uniting Communities is leading the way for organisations across Australia by becoming the first South Australian organisation and first Australian charity to become certified as carbon neutral - saving their organisation over $1,000,000 and reducing carbon emissions by over 34% in the past five years. A range of programs have helped them achieve this, including upgrades to buildings, behaviour change initiatives with 1400 employees and volunteers, transitioning their fleet to hybrid petrol-electric vehicles and reducing waste to landfill through more effective management of recyclable and organic waste. With strong leadership support, the organisation could see the value in not only reducing its carbon footprint, but the opportunity to save on operational costs so that these funds could be invested in their valuable community programs supporting socially disadvantaged and low-income people and families. Uniting Communities received certification under the Federal Government's Carbon Neutral Program in December 2015.


    Leading the nation on renewables

    South Australia acted early on renewable energy and our regulatory frameworks are considered to be the most supportive in the country. After exceeding our renewable energy target to generate 33 per cent of electricity from renewable sources by 2020, we now have a new target to generate 50 per cent of the state’s electricity from renewable energy sources by 2025. In 2014/15, 41 per cent of our electricity was generated from renewable sources, including 34 per cent generated from wind energy.

    Around $6.6 billion has already been invested in the renewable energy industry and thousands of jobs have been created; around 40 per cent, or $2.4 billion, has been realised in regional areas. The Low Carbon Investment Plan sets a new target of achieving $10 billion investment in low carbon energy generation by 2025.

    South Australia was the first jurisdiction to provide a premium feed-in tariff mechanism to support the installation of solar photovoltaic systems. As a consequence, we have the highest penetration of rooftop solar in the National Electricity Market with installations in one in four households, and this continues to grow.



    Santos, one of Australia’s largest producers of natural gas, has actively participated in action to address greenhouse gas emissions and integrated climate risk into its business framework. This includes initiating its own sustainability reporting; engaging with development of international reporting guidelines for the oil and gas industry; measuring and managing internal performance; and investing in low carbon technologies. Additionally, Santos has been a strong and consistent voice in government policy development.

    Across its operations, Santos’ energy efficiency program delivers annual energy savings equivalent to approximately 235,000 tonnes CO2e. The following energy efficiency measures, implemented at the Moomba plant in the far north of the state, deliver a total annual savings of 149,000 CO2e.


    Upper Spencer Gulf Common Purpose Group

    The Upper Spencer Gulf region has a strong heritage and capability in industrial manufacturing, and is located in close proximity to diverse renewable and low carbon energy sources such as wind, solar, geothermal and algae. The region therefore has significant potential to leverage private investment to help diversify the local economy, create jobs and increase prosperity and long-term sustainability for the Spencer Gulf region.

    Recognising this, the three cities that form the nucleus of the region – Whyalla, Port Augusta and Port Pirie – have formed the Upper Spencer Gulf Common Purpose Group to combine existing capabilities and position the region as an ideal site to trial and test renewable energy technology, research and innovation, development and commercialisation.


  • Adaptation

    Barossa Grape & Wine Association – Inspiring environmental best practice

    Barossa’s winegrape growers are forging ahead with modern viticultural practices to prepare for the changing climate – highlighted in a six-part video series that demonstrates Barossa’s environmental best practices.

    The video series, entitled “Environmental Champions of the Barossa” is an initiative of the Barossa Grape & Wine Association (BGWA), which represents Barossa’s 550 independent growers and 170 wine brands. 

    “Our strategy of working with all our community to better prepare for a changing climate is to work from the ‘ground up’ and engage people through inspirational stories,” said Viticultural Development Officer Nicki Robins.

    “If the actions of certain growers can affect change in the behaviour of their neighbours or peers, then that will help build the momentum for the good of the region,” she said.

    “Growers are improving their soil health with mulch and compost applications. They’re using water more efficiently, monitoring soil moisture, capturing and storing solar energy and water, applying vine sunscreens, trialling alternative varieties, and planting native and other non-competitive grasses and plants in the mid-row to improve water and nutrient infiltration.  Many of these actions have the added benefit of enhancing biodiversity, reducing tractor time, diesel and chemicals applied in the vineyard.” 

    Funded by Natural Resources Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges, the video series was launched at the Climate Adaptation Conference held in Adelaide in July 2016. 


    Local weather and climate monitoring tools helping landowners plan for adaptation – SA Murray-Darling Basin

    Across the South Australian Murray-Darling Basin (SA MDB) region, 40 Automatic Weather Stations (AWS) and seven automatic rain gauges record weather observations at set intervals.

    These silent climate sentinels keep watch over the changing weather conditions throughout the region, reporting back hourly with site-specific data that includes rainfall, temperature and relative humidity, global solar radiation, soil temperature and wind speed and direction.

    From this raw data, further indicators such as likelihood of frost and dew, suitability for using airborne sprays and the moisture level evaporated from plants are calculated.

    In some areas there are even calculations made for 'in-crop canopy temperatures'. This provides a relative humidity level and 'leaf wetness index' used in monitoring vineyard conditions.

    Set up initially to generate Evapo-Transpiration (ETo) and rainfall data to assist with water management in the region, they now also provide highly valuable climatic indicators for agricultural and horticultural production.

    'Transferring management of this data to the Bureau of Meteorology has provided an opportunity to upgrade an existing weather monitoring network that now provides significant benefits to multiple stakeholders ranging from local irrigators through to State and Commonwealth Government agencies,’ says SA MDB Board Presiding Member Sharon Starick.

    The significant increase in density and coverage of this network will assist in real time climate monitoring and climate adaptation planning.

    Automatic weatherstation - Natural Resources SA Murray-Darling Basin


    Connecting world class R&D – Yorke and Mid North region

    The Goyder Line, dating back to the 1860s, is well understood in South Australia as a symbol of the importance of being able to determine the reliability of climate conditions suitable for agriculture.

    The region has diverse natural attributes. Productive land, abundant wind resources, world class wine production and accessible coastline combine to create immense opportunities. With a changing climate, the sustainability of such valuable resources is more than ever a priority. Vulnerability to climate change and other social, environmental and economic pressures require a community and industry connected approach and the ability to draw on the strengths of university research.

    The creation in 2014 of the Goyder’s Line Sustainability Hub was an innovative response to today’s increasing need to build better connections between research, industry and community for the Yorke and Mid North region. The establishment of the Hub was identified in the region’s adaptation plan, released in 2013, and was partly supported by the SA Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources.

    ‘Knowledge is the foundation for long-term growth and development of the region,’ says Natasha Hall, Climate Change Coordinator, Yorke and Mid North Regional Alliance.

    ‘The Hub is about connecting world class research and development with local industry and community knowledge to make the most of the opportunities we have.’

    ‘It’s also about enabling the community to lead the way and influence policy as well as opening up employment pathways for local people and supporting the retention of knowledge and skills in the community.’


    Staying Cool with Heat Health – University of Adelaide

    Emergency Department presentations in SA show clearly that heatwaves have a direct effect on vulnerable members of the community such as the elderly, particularly those where there are pre-existing medical conditions.

    The Heat Health Intervention Tool trial was the first trial of its kind for ‘at risk’ people in Australia where the effectiveness of information material on heat health was directly tested. An information package containing a variety of heat health materials was made available to the intervention group and outcomes were then compared with a control group.

    The research showed that a significantly higher percentage of the intervention group reported increased use of their air conditioners and the use of a wet cloth on the face, neck or body as a cooling strategy as advised in the heat health intervention package.

    Heat stress as a health outcome during hot days was significantly reduced in the intervention group. Intensive evidence-based information may have contributed to this positive outcome indicating the potential usefulness of targeted heat health information for seniors.

    The report produced by University of Adelaide researchers concluded: ‘Evidence-based information will enable older people to stay healthy during periods of extreme heat. A more resilient and well-prepared older population will reduce costs to health and emergency services during extreme heat events, as well as supporting independent living of older people in South Australia.’

    The trial was undertaken by SA Health, University of Adelaide, Department for Community and Social Inclusion, Australian Government Department of Human Services, with support from the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources.


    Protecting the State’s assets from climatic changes – DPTI

    In managing significant state assets, the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) has a responsibility to protect those assets against the potential risks of climate change and ensure that new infrastructure is designed to withstand future climate conditions.

    Traditionally, the state’s infrastructure has been designed to function under current climate conditions and sea levels. In addition, asset maintenance programs have generally been based on historic deterioration rates.

    DPTI’s Climate Change Adaptation Guideline for Asset Management provides the framework and necessary information for designers and asset managers to ensure that assets are designed and maintained appropriately, taking into account the expected changes in South Australia’s climate over time.

    Assessing and responding to future climate risks, including extreme weather events, is essential to guard against and minimise service disruptions and damage to critical assets.

    The Adaptation Guideline assists DPTI staff by providing a process for considering future climatic risk and treatment options in the management of the department’s projects, assets and operations. It describes when climate change risk should be considered and how treatment (adaptation) options can be identified for the short and long term.


    25 years of coastal climate change policy in SA –

    The towns, beaches, cliffs and jetties along South Australia’s coastline are among the state’s best loved features and most valuable assets.

    In a state known for its firsts, SA was the first to recognise the importance of protecting those assets through its policy on coast protection and new coastal development which included climate change adaptation (first published in 1991).

    The policy, which made another first when incorporated into the state’s planning system in 1994, was significant in its acceptance of global rising sea level data and the need for climate change as a potential hazard.

    ‘The Coast Protection Board took the best advice available in resolving to use the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) median sea level predictions as part of its hazard policy,’ says Department of Environment Water and Natural Resources Manager, Coast and River Murray, Dr Murray Townsend.

    ‘Most recently the IPCC has also laid emphasis on the increased future magnitude and frequency of extreme events, including storm surge, as part of the climate change scenario.’

    The coastal zone includes a rich diversity of marine plants and animals including many unique species. At the same time, coastal developments are of major social and economic value to South Australia. The Coast Protection Board recognises the need for governments, the community and industry to work together to develop and manage coastal and marine resources sustainably.


    Time for a cool change – heat mapping in southern Adelaide to help protect our most vulnerable citizens

    In cities and urban areas there are many ‘hotspots’ caused mainly by changes to the land, including clearing vegetation, building development and roads. These ‘hotspots’, known as ‘Urban Heat Islands’ are significantly warmer than surrounding areas.

    The increased frequency and intensity of heat waves expected as a result of climate change can have serious health and wellbeing implications for vulnerable members of the community. The ability to identify and map urban heat islands provides planners with essential information about where to prioritise cooling efforts.

    ‘Mitigation of the urban heat island effect can be achieved by increasing and extending city green areas, open spaces and parklands,’ explains Environmental Sustainability Manager, City of Marion, Ann Gibbons.

    The Resilient South Project, a collaboration between Holdfast Bay, Marion, Mitcham and Onkaparinga councils in Adelaide’s southern suburbs, is adopting a mapping approach to identify heat islands as a way of informing future planning decisions.

    The heat mapping project is part of the larger award-winning Resilient South Regional Climate Change Adaptation Plan launched in 2014.

    ‘What’s important about this mapping is that we end up with a clear picture of the temperature hotspots and existing greenspaces compared with where we know are the higher concentrations of vulnerable members of our community, such as child care centres and aged care facilities,’ said Ann.

    ‘The hope is that the work we do here can be used to inform decision makers in other South Australian regions about the urban heat island effect and how they can go about mapping hot spots and prioritising mitigation activities in low-medium density environments.’


    SA Climate Ready – helping plan for a resilient future

    South Australia is now better able to proactively plan for the impacts of climate change through the SA Climate Ready initiative. Launched in 2015 by the Goyder Institute for Water Research, the most comprehensive set of climate projections ever available for the state are helping government, business and the community get a better understanding about the future climate at specific locations across the state. The data includes regional climate change projections, including downscaled climate time series datasets for 188 locations through to the year 2100 that are based on the best available science and are assisting South Australia to remain a national leader in climate change adaptation planning.

    The data can be used for many purposes, including for planning future infrastructure (such as roads, bridges and dams), water resource and catchment management and to help anticipate changes in growing conditions for our primary industries.

    SA Water’s Manager of Water Design and Standards, Jason West said that the Climate Ready SA data will help inform future investment decisions for water management in South Australia.

    “Gaining insight into the potential impacts of climate change on water quality in our reservoirs will help us to plan future operations of water treatment plants across the State,” he said.

    This data is complementary to national scale projections produced by the CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology.


    Mallala settlement – coastal assessment

    The University of South Australia was commissioned by the District Council of Mallala to undertake work on a Coastal Settlements Adaptation Study in May 2013. The prime focus of the Coastal Settlements Adaptation Study was to evaluate how rising sea levels will impact on the settlements of Parham, Webb Beach, Thompson Beach and Middle Beach and to propose adaptation strategies to cope with changes in sea level and sea flooding. This project was supported by grant funding from the Coast Protection Board, with project support also provided by the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources.

    Realistic, cost effective and risk based recommendations have been provided for proposed adaptation strategies to strengthen the resilience of the four settlements. These are assisting Council with short and long term planning considerations which is being undertaken in consultation with affected communities. An important priority action is to develop Community Emergency Management Plans in all four communities including accommodation strategies, to ensure preparation for sea flood inundation in a manner that will minimise damage to property and risk to the safety and wellbeing of visitors and residents in each settlement.


    SARDI – working with primary industries to manage climate impacts

    Agriculture in South Australia is vulnerable to changes in climate. Low rainfall farmers are concerned about shifts in Goyder’s Line of reliable cropping. However changes in farming practices and crop varieties have been shown to counter some of the pressure. Wine grape growers have noticed warmer vintages upsetting fruit and wine balance, and “compressing” harvest into shorter time windows. South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI), the research arm of the Department of Primary Industries and Regions (PIRSA), is exploring cost-effective practices to counteract these effects. Preliminary studies with Barossa Shiraz show that delaying pruning from winter into early spring improves wine balance and spreads harvest. Although climate change presents considerable challenges, there is a high level of adaptive capacity in agricultural industries that comes from a partnership between local know-how and applied research.

  • Community Capacity

    Resident David Mitchell – Sustainability Incentive Scheme helps pay for hybrid electric car charging station

    David Mitchell had been thinking about buying a hybrid electric car for a while. He was also aware of the moves to make the City of Adelaide a carbon neutral city, a goal that would depend on significant reductions in vehicle emissions over time.

    "As business guru Peter Drucker says: the best way to predict the future is to create it," says David.

    "So when the Sustainability Incentives Scheme came along, the financial incentive to install a home charging dock for my electric car was welcome news. Having made the decision to invest in the car, this was a bonus."

    The Sustainability Incentives Scheme process is straight forward.  Once the paperwork is done, the scheme contributes up to $5,000 of the cost of the electric vehicle charging station for the car for properties within the City of Adelaide, depending on the type of charging point. 

    You might think that getting permission from corporate bodies to install systems such as this would prove to be a barrier.

    "I had to get approval, of course. But as long as I was paying they were good with it. The building manager in particular was very supportive," said David.

    David reports that the installation is working well and running a hybrid electric car was a good choice.

    "In the five months since I bought the hybrid car, I have never had to refill the petrol tank."


    Resident Terry Papadopoulous – Solar panels and battery storage a worthwhile investment

    When Terry Papadopoulous heard about the Sustainability Incentives Scheme, he worked out the cost and the time it would take for an installation of solar PV, battery storage and retrofitting LED lights to pay for itself. Financially, it made good sense to invest.

    "As I get older, I don’t want to have to worry about paying high energy bills into the future. So this was the right way to go," said Terry.

    Terry chose Newman Mundy Energy Solar Solutions to do the installations. "They made it easy for me. They did all the paperwork and all I had to do was sign off," he said.

    Terry’s 5.22 kW solar system generates approximately 21 kW hours per day which is the daily average use for a four person household in South Australia.  With the ability to store up to 8.8 kWh for night and morning use, he is well on the way to being cost neutral.

    "And this technology is pretty smart stuff. I can jump on to my computer and with a click can see exactly how much energy I’m generating," he said.

    "If you have the capacity to do something like this, it’s very worthwhile."


    Christies Walk – Eco-community showcase uses rebate scheme for energy efficiency upgrades

    Adelaide’s Christies Walk is a city eco-community of 27 homes and gardens celebrating 10 years as a showcase for sustainable living practices.

    "We get about 1,500 visitors a year attending our regular monthly tours and other events. So it’s important that we keep up to date as technology improves," says resident Brian Loffler.

    The Sustainability Incentives Scheme supported a number of new installations at Christies Walk including replacing inefficient lighting with LED lighting.

    "The component with the biggest effect so far is a controller for the water heating system which saves power by switching off at times when it is not needed," says Brian.

    "We noticed a 10% electricity saving in the first quarter – and the system had only been active for one month. So we are very pleased about the potential ongoing savings."

    Brian encourages people interested in the rebate scheme to meet with the City of Adelaide  Sustainability Program to discuss their goals and how to apply for the grants.

    "We are really grateful to the City of Adelaide team for taking a leading edge approach to tackling climate change. With their help, we will also look to invest in battery storage and solar PV as a future step."


    Carpool SA Yankalilla – A smarter way to travel

    Residents in South Australia’s Fleurieu region can now save money and reduce their carbon footprint with the launch of a new carpool program.

    Carpool SA Yankalilla was launched in June 2016, seeing the District Council of Yankalilla become the first regional council to partner with Adelaide Carpool, an initiative of the SA Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure. 

    “It gives people across the Fleurieu region the chance to save money on petrol and parking if commuting to Adelaide or surrounding regions for work or events, and also provides an opportunity to reduce their carbon footprint,” said District Council of Yankalilla Chief Executive, Nigel Morris.

    “What’s more, Carpool SA Yankalilla helps participants to calculate how many CO2 emissions they save when they share a journey.” 

    “So far there are over 300 registered car poolers and 46 workplaces affiliated with the program.”  

     “We are now looking to promote the program to local sporting and community clubs across the region so that people who use the program can link up with others in the region to share a ride to sporting games and community events too,” said Nigel.


    Horse SA – Horse owners being helped to ‘future proof’ their horse

    Horse owners, clubs and organisations are can plan for the impact of climate change thanks to the development of a new resource.

    The ‘Future Proof Your Horse Action Plan’, developed by Horse SA with support from the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources, looks at the impact of hotter temperatures, extreme weather events, less rainfall and increased risk of disease on riding and training, horse health, stabling and feeding, land management and welfare and safety.

    ‘The line on the map where the rainfall drops will be moving westward towards Eudunda in years to come and my grasslands, which are perfect for my horses now, may end up becoming more like saltbush country,’ says horse owner Kirsty Dudley.

    Early adoption of actions that can reduce, manage or address the potential results of changes in climate will contribute to developing a sustainable future for horse owners like Kirsty and horse activities run by clubs and organisations across the State.

    ‘It hasn’t happened yet, but it’s on the cards,’ she says. ‘So how do I maintain my grasslands for longer? Can I proliferate the spear grass in any way to maximise my pastures longevity? Can it be mechanically reaped and seeds collected for re-seeding other areas of the property where it is less prolific? These are all questions I have to address in preparation for climate change challenges ahead.’

    Horse SA have also developed a range of tools for sustainability and managing horses in extreme events.


    Resident Paquita Nicholls – Reduced cost battery makes solar add up

    For City of Adelaide resident Paquita Nicholls, the Sustainability Incentives Scheme was the catalyst for a change she had long wanted to make.

    A committed advocate for green energy, she had previously confined herself to buying as much renewable energy as possible through her electricity provider.

    Solar power seemed a great concept, but not really practical given that she wasn’t at home to use the electricity when it was being produced.

    The arrival of battery technology changed the picture, and a $5000 Sustainability Incentives Scheme rebate helped make the numbers add up, given the substantial reduction in electricity bills.

    “The Council wrote to us encouraging us to install solar panels and the grant means I am essentially getting the battery for free, which is great,” she said. “It allows me to get full benefit from the solar panels I’ve installed and it really adds value to the house.”

    Last December Paquita installed a 4.95kW solar system in her townhouse in Gilles Street and, she says, it “works like a charm”. The panels are barely visible though they cover both sides of her roof, which faces east-west, and the battery sits discreetly on her upstairs balcony.

    “The technology has improved so much in recent years, the cost of a system has fallen dramatically and the battery makes it all feasible,” she said. “I couldn’t be happier.”


    Duc Mai Lawyers – Rebate makes LED lights even more attractive

    A Sustainable City Incentives rebate was nice icing on the cake for Adelaide law firm Duc Mai Lawyers when they decided to convert the 16 lights in their Carrington Street office from halogen downlights to LED.

    They were already committed to “playing our little part in helping reduce carbon emissions”, according to Office Manager Patricia Mai, but the $480 contribution helped knock more than a quarter off their out-of-pocket expenses, meaning the cost will be recouped even more quickly.

    “It’s still early days but from looking at our bills I think we’re saving about $2 a day, which I guess over the course of a year adds up to a few hundred dollars,” she said. “It’s an older building and the halogen lights were using quite a lot of energy. We have them on all day, particularly in winter when it can get quite dark.”

    The installation cost was pushed up by the amount of cable needed in the old two-storey building, but Patricia and her colleagues are more than happy with the result.

    “Actually getting the rebate was really straight forward,” she said. “We just had to show the electrician’s receipts and then it only took a few weeks”.

    Under the Incentives Scheme, 30% up to $1000 is available for converting halogen downlights to LED downlights.

    “I would certainly recommend it to others,” Patricia said. “And it’s worth looking at the website because there is quite a range of incentives, including for installing solar. We’ve got a few quotes for solar energy down the track.”


    Residents Greg and Marjon Martin – Solar saves money and changes thinking

    Adding battery storage to their solar system has made quite a difference for City of Adelaide residents Marjon and Greg Martin. They not only increased the number of panels on their Weil Street home from six to 16, they started looking more strategically at how and when they use electricity.

    “What we find most interesting is understanding our own habits and working out how much we will change to get the most efficient use of our solar panels and battery system,” Marjon said.

    The Martins were approached by AllGrid Energy to be the first home in Adelaide to use its hybrid 10kW/h system and jumped at the chance. They purchased the storage battery using a Sustainability Incentives Scheme grant, and the impact has been significant.

    “We have been delighted as the additional energy we put into the grid during our last billing period equated to planting seven trees; plus we received a small payment,” Marjon said. “The eight cent rebate covered the usage and supply charges, including Green Energy choice.”

    Marjon and Gregory are very committed to living sustainably. With Council assistance they have plumbed tank water into their house and over the past five years have also installed LED lights and better roof insulation, double glazed the windows and added a verandah for shade.


    School 'champions' – Cowandilla Primary School

    Cowandilla Primary School is a near city school with a highly diverse student population. Cowandilla has been a Climate Change Focus School since 2003 and in 2015 won a Specialist Schools Grant to progress work on climate change. The students were keen to form a Climate Change Student Group after being taught about climate change at the time the 2006 documentary An Inconvenient Truth was released. This is a group of 39 volunteers who help with the school’s recycling system, planting and caring for a vegie garden and native plants, writing articles for the school newsletter and sharing information at assemblies.

    Cowandilla has capacity to catch 400,000L of rainwater, which is used to flush toilets and partly irrigate the gardens and oval. Exotic trees have been replaced with natives, and lawn has been removed where it was not needed as a playing surface. Solar panels have been installed and there are programs to reduce the consumption of electricity and water. By visiting visit Christie Walk, the Food Forest, the market and the zoo, students are taught about sustainable house design, local food production, food miles and the interconnectedness of eco systems on Earth.


    Community champions – Brian Foster

    Brian is recognised as a leader in rural and regional adaptation to climate change, driven by first-hand experience and understanding as a fourth generation farmer on the Eyre Peninsula. Brian’s commitment to addressing the challenges of climate change began in the late 1990’s; his attendance at a lecture by Professor Tim Flannery in Port Lincoln in 2005 strengthened this commitment. Brian was instrumental in ensuring climate change was incorporated into the Eyre Peninsula Natural Resource Management Plan - one of the first Natural Resources Management Plans in Australia to formally incorporate the issue of climate change. Brian played a key role in establishing the Eyre Peninsula Regional Sector Agreement, the first of its kind in Australia. In June 2013; Brian won the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF) National Climate Champion Individual Award.