A ten-year plan to turn the Hepburn Shire, in Central Victoria, into a model zero-net emissions community was launched in Daylesford on April 4th last year.

The Z-Net Community Transition Plan is a detailed master plan for the Hepburn Shire reaching 100% renewable electricity supply, zero-net energy and zero-net emissions by 2029.

David Penman, owner of the innovative, multi award-winning boutique accommodation, Clifftop at Hepburn, saw the chance to align his property with the region’s aspirations and engaged another innovator, Tesla, to fit out each villa with a solar system and Powerwall – Tesla’s home battery system – as well as a Wall Connector to enable charging of Tesla’s all-electric cars.

Clifftop at Hepburn offers three, luxurious villas that each offer a unique blend of indulgent romance, homely haute couture, intoxicating design and funky technology.

Since solar and Powerwall was installed, each villa has reduced its grid power consumption by 95%. In addition, the Tesla app gives both guests and David access to real-time information – how much power has been generated, what is being stored and used. Interesting for guests but a useful business tool for David.

“If we foresee storms or conditions that will reduce power generation, we can set the Powerwall storage level remotely, on our mobile, from anywhere in the world, without interrupting our guests’ stay,” explains David.

Tesla Powerwall allows the villas to use more of their solar by storing the excess energy and using it at night, which roughly doubles the amount of solar energy that directly powers the villas.

“A hidden benefit, that is becoming more apparent as we use the system is our protection from power outages. The Powerwall kicks in, our guests stay isn’t impacted, and protects our devices from damage.”

With the villas offsetting most of their grid usage through solar and Powerwall, Clifftop at Hepburn is contributing to a Zero-Net Emissions Community, a benefit to locals and visitors alike.