GemLife is putting energy into sustainability
GEMLIFE’S PIONEERING VIRTUAL POWER PLANT ROLL OUT WAS LAUNCHED ON 29 MAY AT MAROOCHY QUAYS WITH A SPECIAL MEDIA CALL ATTENDED BY SUNSHINE COAST MAYOR MARK JAMIESON AND GEMLIFE DIRECTOR AND CEO ADRIAN PULJICH.
The event marks the next phase in this Australia-first $75 million program developed by GemLife to make all resorts up to 90% energy independent.
This follows a highly successful six-month Virtual Power Plant (VPP) pilot program at GemLife Palmwoods which saw the average homeowner’s power bill fall to less than $8 per month.
“The VPP shields residents from soaring electricity prices, offering bill consistency, which is vitally important for our residents, the majority of whom are on fixed incomes,” said Adrian.
“Across the first three communities, Palmwoods, Maroochy Quays and Bribie Island, we’ve already connected 700 homes to VPPs, at no cost to our homeowners and will be installing the system in all our existing communities by the end of 2024, with all our new communities to open with the technology already in place.
“This initiative sets a new benchmark for the development industry, and particularly communities of this kind, when it comes to forward-thinking sustainable design, and we hope the broader industry will follow suit.”
The system includes a network of homes and community facilities with rooftop solar plus a commercial-grade battery connected via smart AI-driven technology, which is capable of predicting the demand for energy use, by monitoring weather conditions and optimal charge times.
The VPP also brings broader community benefits including the reduction in carbon emission and reliance on the under-pressure national energy grid.
“Like many regions across the country, our Sunshine Coast Community continues to face the challenges that come with the rising costs of living. That is why it is so important to take the time to recognise the innovation and commitment of organisations such as GemLife whose programs look to be part of the solution and support our communities,” says Sunshine Coast Mayor, Mark Jamieson.
“The region has long been recognised as a hub for innovation and a leader in sustainability, and pioneering projects such as this are critical in cementing our reputation as a future-proof and environmentally responsible community.”
The pilot program in Palmwoods is a finalist in the 2023 development innovation award at the Property Council of Australia’s Innovation and Excellence Awards.
And GemLife Palmwoods residents couldn’t be more delighted.
“Before moving to GemLife, electricity bills were something we were always mindful of,” said resident Bronwyn Maynard. “In South Australia we had both electricity and gas to budget for and that amounted to between $500 and $600 a quarter. At GemLife Palmwoods, we’ve not had a bill over $8 a month.”
For Eric and Margaret Martin, their electricity bill has effectively been zero. “Our bills have been very small,” said Margaret. “And once the senior’s discount has been applied, we’ve had nothing to pay at all.
“It’s such a relief to not have to worry about using the air conditioner when it is hot and fearing what your electricity bill will be at the end of the month.”