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Community energy ‘roadshow’

MEFL’s CEO Alison Rowe and Head of Engagement Rachel Maddocks travelled around North-East Victoria in early August to speak alongside good friends Nicky Ison from Community Power Agency, Kate Auty and local community energy groups including Renewable Albury Wodonga, Totally Sustainable Tallangatta, Totally Renewable Beechworth and Sustainable Upper Ovens.

Community Retailer

The Community Energy Forum and roadshow around North-East Victoria for the week was created by Totally Renewable Yackandandah who got everyone together to talk to locals about the proposal to set up a North-East Victoria Community Energy Retailer. Throughout the week Alison and Rachel spoke with 450 locals at community meetings in Wodonga, Wangaratta, Bright, Benalla, Beechworth and Tallangatta.

The North-East has the community energy

Alison and Rachel also helped launch Sustainable Upper Ovens, a new group planning to start up community projects to decrease their waste and energy use in Upper Ovens communities. There is loads of action in the North-East and the region holds the terrific honour of having the highest density of Community Energy Groups anywhere in Australia. We are looking forward to seeing the region develop their Community Energy Retailer model and we will of course continue to support and promote their amazing work.

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Positive Charge achievements

MEFL’s Positive Charge program had a busy and productive year in 2017-18, expanding its operations interstate and helping households and businesses to go solar and install energy efficiency measures. Amongst the highlights for the year:

  • 3.8 megawatts of solar was installed through Positive Charge across the 28 subscribing councils in Victoria and New South Wales.
  • Over 30 businesses across Vic and NSW went through the Solar for Business program, 12 of which installed 720kW of solar
  • Positive Charge is now delivering services to 10 councils in New South Wales as part of the Our Energy Future initiative by the Southern Sydney Region of Councils (SSROC). We have 2 staff members in NSW delivering the community energy service, providing information, advice and supplier pathways for local residents.
  • We’re investigating other energy efficiency products, such as hot water heat pumps and reverse cycle air conditioning to include as part of our offering, with a pilot on the way.

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Cities Power Partnership Summit

Accelerating Local Climate Action

18-19 October 2018, Kiama NSW

Registrations are now open for the inaugural Cities Power Partnership Summit. The CPP is the Climate Council’s free national local climate action support program, which is now Australia’s largest, approaching 100 member councils.

To be held in beautiful Kiama on the NSW South Coast, 2 hours south of Sydney, the summit will inspire and connect local governments and partners working on carbon emission reduction projects, including renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable transport and community advocacy.

Read more »

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Staff profile

Caroline Armstrong

Program Director – Major Projects

I have recently joined MEFL as the Program Director – Major Projects. I’m leading the team responsible for the Healthy Homes and the EnergySmart projects. My background is in people and project management in the ‘for impact’ sectors.

Healthy Homes, which is funded by Sustainability Victoria, is helping low-income households where people are living with chronic health problems focus on improving the warmth of their home during winter.

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John Thwaites joins us at Spark!

We are delighted to announce that John Thwaites has accepted our invitation to deliver an oration at Spark! 2018, in honour of the late Mike Hill. The oration will close out the first day of the conference.

About John Thwaites

John Thwaites is a Professorial Fellow, Monash University, and Chair of ClimateWorks Australia and the Monash Sustainable Development Institute.

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Energy consumer survey

Every year the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) surveys energy consumers to see if small customers are having their needs met.

This years’ survey found that higher prices combined with complex and confusing energy offers have driven consumer confidence to new lows. Only one in four consumers now say energy retailers are working in their long-term interests, down 10 per cent from last year. Satisfaction with value for money in energy is lower than banking, water, broadband and mobile sectors. Trust in the energy sector has dropped from 50 per cent in 2017 to 39 per cent in 2018.

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Staff profile: Alanna Robertson

As Executive Assistant, I’m responsible for the smooth running of the office of MEFL’s CEO, and providing high level governance and administrative support to the Board of Directors and the Executive Leadership Team.

Before starting at MEFL I was in the hospitality industry for ten years and have worked my way into management roles, most recently as Assistant Venue Manager of Howler (across from the Brunswick Baths). You can still see me rock starring out there on some weekends.

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Spark! Conference – be an early bird

Registrations at early bird prices are now open for Spark!

The program is being developed and we have some fantastic conference streams planned. Streams will include discussions on policy and advocacy, overcoming the barriers to solar, tackling energy policy, community energy,  local leadership and the future state of the grid. We’ll be sharing more information soon, so keep watching the website, our eBulletin and Facebook.

Early Bird pricing has been extended until Wednesday 15 August.

Read more about the conference and stay in touch for updates.