Self-sustaining homes packed with distributed energy assets will deliver lower bills for residents at a new estate in Sydney’s south-western suburbs.
Led by developer Frasers Property Australia, 51 new self-sustaining homes will be constructed at the Ed.Square precinct in Edmonton Park with support from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).
Each home will be kitted out with rooftop solar, ground source heat pumps, induction cooktops, solar hot water, double glazed windows, LED lighting and roof insulation.
The self-sustaining homes will achieve ‘net zero energy demand’ by producing more energy than they consume, making them cheap to run and helping to bring sustainable housing designs into the mainstream.
The all-electric homes will not be connected to the gas grid, saving money on connection fees while maximising the use of energy from on-site solar panels.
As one of Australia’s largest developers, Frasers Property aims to apply information gathered to its other projects and to help quantify how the housing market values sustainable designs.
Frasers Property’s Cameron Leggatt said they will share data widely to inform the building industry and customers of the benefits of energy efficient appliances and designs.
“Our vision for this project is for it to have industry-wide implications that will elevate the energy performance of not only the homes Frasers Property creates for its customers, but the new housing sector nationally,” Leggatt said.
“Net zero energy demand must be a goal for the entire property industry across all sectors if Australia is to achieve its emissions reductions targets. Projects like this are an essential part of the broader effort required.”
As well as constructing the new homes, the Edmonton Square estate will use a new model for Frasers’ energy retailer Real Utilities embedded network, providing an option for customers to access solar with lower retail tariffs.
The new houses are expected to go on sale before the end of the year and be completed in 2022, supporting 120 construction and 102 ongoing jobs.
ARENA will contribute $708,910 toward the $1.4 million demonstration. It builds on funding announced last year to support Mirvac which is constructing 49 net zero energy townhouses at Altona North, approximately 10kms from Melbourne’s CBD.
ARENA CEO Darren Miller said he hopes the model can be replicated to deliver more sustainable houses.
“Through this project we can highlight the beneficial changes that energy efficiency improvements can make to next generation, net zero energy demand homes,” he said.
As the cost of distributed energy falls, the payback time for assets like rooftop solar, batteries and smart appliances is shrinking.