Stockland studies rooftop solar in residential setting


With support from the CEFC and the Federal Government’s Climate Active program, Stockland has launched the Carbon Neutral Homes pilot program at its Highlands masterplanned community in Victoria.

The Highlands development, in Melbourne’s north, includes Sustainable Drive, which the company described as one of the first solar-powered streets in the country. Stocklands offered those who purchased a property on the street free rooftop solar and battery storage systems. Residents were then offered the opportunity to participate in the research project.

Over a period of 12 months, the residents will provide data on the utility and energy usage within their home, providing researchers with a better understanding of how to mitigate carbon emissions from homes.

Amy Hogan, Stockland’s general manager of sustainability, said the project will help identify and understand the effects of rooftop solar and associated battery storage on the liveability and affordability of the Australian home.

“The energy infrastructure we installed was with the intention to make the homes more liveable and affordable for residents, while vastly reducing the homes’ carbon emissions and energy costs,” she said.

“We’re looking forward to seeing the results of the program and being able to provide our future customers with real data about how sustainability features can help them save on their energy bills.”

CEFC property director Michael Di Russo said the project will provide critical information about energy consumption and what it takes to make residential property carbon neutral, which will help accelerate change across the sector.

“The benefits of carbon-neutral housing are widespread,” he said. “It brings down energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions and also reduces stress on the electricity network.

“Understanding the energy demands of our homes is an important first step toward making them carbon neutral.”

The project has also attracted the support of the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) with the homes the first in the nation to be certified under the Climate Actives Buildings standard for residential operational emissions.

GBCA chief executive Davina Rooney said the project shapes as a critical step towards net zero buildings within Australian residences.

“The Highlands pilot will provide critical insights about how we can effectively drive wholescale transformation in the residential sector to create a market for future homes,” she said.

The Carbon Neutral Homes project is the latest residential sustainability initiative offered by Stocklands. In late 2019 the developer teamed with solar and battery provider Bradford to offer home buyers discounts on renewable energy packages including solar modules, inverters and optimisers, and battery systems.

Stockland has also made moves to transition its commercial operations to renewable energy with plans to install more than 10 MW of rooftop PV across nine of its shopping centre sites in Queensland, NSW and Victoria.

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