Water is critical to how we live, work and play in this state, and we continue to explore opportunities to make our spaces more liveable and our services more accessible and sustainable.
Through our industry-leading initiative, we are changing the way we work to deliver better water services for our customers living with a disability or debilitating lifestyle condition Better understanding our customers. Working together with this group of customers, we are gaining greater understanding of their water service needs and challenges. The goal is to ensure anyone living with a disability or accessibility issue is able to best engage with our services, and that we are meeting their needs.
Building on our trial at Adelaide Airport to cultivate green space to manage urban heat islands, we continued to use water in new ways. Cool zones were created at the 2019 Tour Down Under Village providing riders and spectators respite from the heat with the help of water misters. This type of innovation is creating new opportunities for people to use water differently and make our everyday lives more comfortable. See Cooling the community for more details about this initiative.
Much has been achieved as we implement our 2017-20 Reconciliation Action Plan. Our activities this year range from education and training programs, infrastructure upgrades and supporting Aboriginal businesses, to community art projects, dual naming and sharing stories. There are full details under Leading the way.
Central to a sustainable future is our investment in renewable energy generation and storage. In February 2019 we awarded a contract to South Australian company Enerven to install about 154 megawatts of solar photovoltaic generation and 34 megawatt hours of energy storage across up to 70 of our sites. This investment in more than 500,000 solar panels will help us towards an ambitious goal of zero net electricity costs from 2020-21 and there are details under Creating a zero cost energy future.
Technology and digital capability is increasingly central to how we operate our business and interact with our customers.
The smart water network has expanded, including to Penneshaw on Kangaroo Island (see Penneshaw benefits from smart network expansion), and continues to generate significant interest among our industry peers in Australia and around the globe. See Getting smarter across the state and Smart water network wins global prize for full details. With an investment of $5 million, we are trialling advanced smart sewer technology in the wider metropolitan area to complement our existing sewer maintenance programs with the aim of improving service reliability.
Nearly 92,000 customers across more than 100,000 properties now benefit from the convenience of eBilling Digital services for customers, with interactions online and through social media continuing to grow.
Moving beyond the traditional lag metrics for work health and safety, we adopted a harm based approach to safety in March 2019 Safety and wellbeing of our people. This focuses our attention on the potential outcomes of an incident or event as well as the actual outcomes. Actual or potential life changing events are classified as ‘diamond events’ enabling us to prioritise serious incidents and focus our resources to prevent the likelihood of a recurrence.
Our refreshed Inclusion and Diversity Plan builds on our culture and values to create a workforce that offers flexibility, with opportunities for emerging talent, women, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.