Sustainably reducing our operational energy expenses help us keep water and sewerage charges as low and stable as possible, and is one way we can contribute to easing cost of living pressures for our customers.
We are one of the state’s single largest electricity users and in a dry 2018-19, when water consumption increased, powering our energy-intensive drinking water and wastewater pumping and treatment operations across South Australia cost $83 million.
Our zero cost energy future will be delivered through seven key initiatives that include demand scheduling, energy efficiency, energy storage, our own generation, and energy market levers that will position us to effectively manage our long-term energy usage.
Increasing our own generation capacity will deliver the largest leaps on our path towards a zero cost energy future. We’re investing more than $300 million to generate 242 gigawatt hours of energy per annum by installing 154 megawatts of solar photovoltaics at around 35 sites and 34 megawatt hours of energy storage devices, by the end of 2020. That’s around 500,000 solar panels working to harness the power of the sun, generating 70 per cent of our electricity needs in an average weather and water consumption year.
How our zero cost energy future will benefit you
The energy we generate and store on-site will reduce our reliance on expensive grid electricity and create a revenue stream, helping to deliver substantial operational savings for the benefit of our customers.
Our installed renewable generating capacity will be equivalent to the power needs of 50,000 average South Australian homes. It will help reduce emissions equivalent to planting seven million trees, or removing more than 32,000 cars from the road per year, every year of operation.
Importantly, our progressive leap forward will help the global transition to a low-carbon future.