In 2009 the City of Victor Harbor established the Community Purchase of Renewable Energy Program (C-PREP 1). The objective of the program was to connect residents with a reputable supplier/installer of affordable home solar energy systems so that they may take advantage of government subsidies and feed-in tariffs that were then available. Zen Energy successfully tendered to be our program partner.
Over 700 residents across the Fleurieu Peninsula signed on for the program while many others independently sought their own solar energy systems. Today over 40% of Victor Harbor residential properties have solar.
In 2011/12 the LGA replicated the program with great success and some 35 Councils across the State signed up on behalf of their communities.
Council has also been active in pursuing solar solutions for public spaces. In 2012 we installed a hybrid street light (wind and solar) which has battery storage and potential to be used to power gophers. This was achieved with funding through the LGA.
Other initiatives have included installation of 37 solar bollard lights along the Victor Harbor Esplanade and a commitment to progressively convert the Council civic centre to solar when funding can be secured.
In 2013 Council rolled out our second renewable energy program (C-PREP 2) to extend the solar purchasing opportunity to businesses and industry. During the 12 month program, 12 groups took advantage of the solar packages offered by Solar Depot. The renewable energy program was supported by neighbouring councils of Alexandrina and Yankalilla.
Our efforts in this area has brought positive recognition for our Council. In 2012 we were the overall winner of the KESAB Sustainable Communities Award. In 2013 we went on to become the Keep Australia Beautiful, Australian Tidy Towns Sustainable Community Award winner. Further, due to pledges made by residents during earth hour this year to install solar panels, we won a solar system which has now been installed on one of our community meeting buildings.