News

News /

Community Energy Congress

The C4CE Community Energy Congress on 27-28 February was a busy and highly successful event.

Some highlights were:

  • Keynotes from two of the world’s most respected voices in community energy: Soren Hermansen and Candace Vahlsing
  • A reiteration of leadership support for a renewable transition from Vic Energy & Climate Change Minister, Lily D’Ambrosio
  • The Energy Justice session, hosted by a group of Indigenous Australians and First Nation Canadians
  • Breakout sessions including Working with RE Developers, Financing, Legals and Risk, Grabbing Headlines, Empowering Vulnerable Communities and Political Support.

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Helping Moreland businesses go solar

We’re seeing more and more businesses make the smart choice to go solar. With many businesses experiencing major hikes in their energy costs over recent months it is becoming a clear way for businesses to increase their profits. With low interest, council backed loans (called ‘Environmental Upgrade Agreements’) now available in Moreland it’s also possible for owner occupiers – and tenants to access solar with no upfront costs.

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We pony up for good

Like so many people, MEFL staff had a stack of old technology at home cluttering up the drawers and wardrobes of our houses. We decided to do something about it. MEFL contacted PonyUp for Good to get a little help and do a little good. We bought all our old tech into the office and Pony Up came to pick it up.

How PonyUp works

PonyUp for Good is a social enterprise. They take your donated, smartphones, laptops and tablets, securely erase any data on them, then on-sell for reuse. The devices feel good about themselves as they’re reused for up to another seven years, providing affordable, working technology to folk in developing countries, while keeping toxic chemicals out of soil & waterways. The major kicker is: 50% of profits are donated to SecondBite, Australia’s fresh food crusaders, who last year, rescued 10 million kilograms of fresh food and redistributed it to over 1300 food programs nationally. That’s 55,000 healthy meals a day. 

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Projects /

Harrietville Renewable Energy Opportunity Report

MEFL was contracted in partnership with Enhar to deliver an options report to examine the current energy supply situation to ascertain the key areas of risk and opportunity and then review a range of renewable energy options available to Harrietville. In particular the report examined the energy requirements of the town during critical incidents and considered the best means to ensure continuous supply. The team identified a key focus on business energy (up to half of the town’s electricity use is within 7 local tourism businesses).

Projects /

Here Comes the Sun

One of the most common arguments against renewable energy (particularly solar) is its inability to provide base load generation. “Here Comes the Sun” sought to address this issue by establishing the viability of small communities that could install solar arrays with excess generating capacity and store any excess generation in batteries for use when the community’s solar arrays are not generating enough energy to meet the community’s needs. The project was sponsored by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and delivered by MEFL and GreenSync.

The final report has been approved recently and will appear on the ARENA website soon. We will link to it when it does.

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New Positive Charge website

MEFL’s social enterprise Positive Charge has evolved in the four years since it was launched. Last year we found the need to update our website and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to keep up with the changes. The Positive Charge team has been working hard behind the scenes to create the new website and CRM.

It’s been a long process with a lot of consultation to try to get things right. The new website should be easier to navigate to find all the tips, hints and new articles relevant to you. It will also link up with the CRM in order to streamline some of our processes. The website and CRM will assist people wishing to request a quote from a carefully selected supplier, or book a service (such as an energy assessment) through Positive Charge. It also provides an easy way for people to stay in touch by subscribing to the Positive Charge eNews.

The Positive Charge team is very keen to make sure that the new website is intuitive, informative and relevant – we are keen to hear your feedback. Have a look at the new website and send us an email with any feedback, comments or suggestions.

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Climate Change Adaptation Plan

The Victorian Government’s Climate Change Adaptation Plan was released last month. The Plan lays out the expected risks from climate change and the government’s principles and priorities for adaptation. You can download the full plan from the DELWP website but if you’re not ready to read all 81 pages, check out this short video made by NAGA’s Executive Officer David Meiklejohn. David explains the sectoral approach taken in the Adaptation Plan, with a focus on local government issues.

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MEFL at Sydney Rd Street Party

MEFL set up a Zero Carbon Evolution street stall on Sunday 5 March at the Sydney Road Street Party.

We spoke to lots of people, hearing your suggestions and providing lots of advice. Thanks to everyone who came and chatted to us. We heard about the actions being taken by people across the community – a big thank you for your efforts!

We shared the stall with Moreland Community Solar, so people got to find out what community solar is all about and what’s happening in Moreland.

As usual Sunny the Solar Bear was the star of the show, getting the crowd dancing and bringing a smile to everyone’s face.

People told us that the actions they had most commonly taken were:

  • Saving energy
  • Travelling smarter
  • Switching lights to LED
  • Saving water.

The actions people were most eager to take were:

  • Go solar
  • Find new ways to save energy.

People were also interested in how they could use their power through divestment and in making Moreland greener. For more info on the sustainability actions you can take, visit the Moreland Zero Carbon Actions page.