LETTER: Alice Solar City's commercial program winds up


Sir – After more than four and half years, almost 200 free energy surveys and $1.5m of funding support, Alice Solar City’s commercial program is coming to an end.
This coincides with the departure of Commercial Services Manager Craig Hanicek tomorrow, who is leaving Alice Springs for a new renewable energy role in the ACT.
Throughout his 18 months in the job, Mr Hanicek provided energy surveys and advice to more than 65 of the 200 or so businesses participating in the program, whose combined energy consumption is equivalent to 4,700 average Alice Springs houses.
He says: “Highlights for me have included the installation of a number of energy efficient technologies not previously trialed in Alice Springs, and helping several businesses go 100% solar with a combination of solar PV and energy efficiency.”
The end of the program comes four months short of the end of Alice Solar City’s current funding agreements in June 2013.
Customer and business owner of Easy Carwash, Andrew Ballestrin says that Alice Solar City provides a benchmark for what similar energy and water saving programs should be like.
“They made it so easy for us to save on our energy bills. Since installing energy efficient lighting at the carwash we are saving $500 per month, which is especially good in light of the recent power price rise.”
The commercial program launched in May 2008, and since that time it has:
• Attracted 217 customers who together represent over 38% of the Alice Springs commercial sector’s energy consumption.
• Supported a wide range of businesses from small to large, including Easy Carwash and the Crowne Plaza Alice Springs.
• Provided 193 customised energy surveys and funded 5 large-scale energy audits.
• Supported 39 solar PV installs, totalling 411kW of capacity with $1.1M of funding. These systems are generating around 700,000 kWh per annum, saving businesses over $200,000 per annum.
• Provided over $370,000 in funding for energy efficiency measures such as lighting upgrades, white roofs, solar and heat pump hot water, refrigeration upgrades and much more.
• Estimated savings from the supported energy efficiency measures are over 2,300,000 kWh per annum, saving participants $667,000 per annum.
• In total, carbon emission savings are estimated at over 2000 tonnes per annum.
Alice Solar City’s existing commercial customers will continue to receive access to information on their ongoing energy consumption, and businesses can still contact Alice Solar City for localised information on what other programs are available to support them in reducing energy bills and greenhouse gas emissions.
Commercial Case studies and a full list of incentive recipients can be found on the Alice Solar City website.
Details of the solar PV projects funded by Alice Solar City are also available.
The Alice Springs Solar City Consortium is led by the Alice Springs Town Council and includes support from the Northern Territory Government, Power and Water Corporation, Tangentyere Council, the Northern Territory Chamber of Commerce and the Arid Lands Environment Centre. Funding sources include the Australian Government, the Northern Territory Government, Power and Water Corporation, and Alice Springs Town Council.
Laurelle Halford
Alice Springs


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here