Projects /

Community Energy Guide

cty-energy-guide-200The Coalition for Community Energy (C4CE) released the Guide to Community-Owned Renewable Energy for Victorians in 2015. MEFL contributed to the Guide’s development, along with Embark, Community Power Agency and the Alternative Technology Association.

Developed specifically for the Victorian context, the work was funded by the Victorian Government. It is both a resource for community groups that are considering a renewable energy project and those that are already in the process of establishing a project. The Guide consolidates existing knowledge and resources and provides links to further information and advice. It provides practical pointers on critical commercial, technical, governance and regulatory aspects of renewable energy projects, including a wealth of useful information on identifying an appropriate business model, selecting the most suitable technology and managing a project.


Download the Guide to Community-Owned Renewable Energy for Victorians.

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Positive Charge – Banksia Awards finalist

We were delighted that Positive Charge was selected as a Finalist for the 2016 Banksia Awards in the Sustainable and Resilient Communities category.

The winners were announced on 30 November and we congratulate the winner; Manymak Energy Efficiency Project.

Manymak was an energy efficiency project that ran for 2 years in six communities in East Arnhem Land.

Positive Charge

banksia-awardsPositive Charge is the only organisation of its kind offering trustworthy advice, coupled with the confidence to connect people with carefully selected suppliers and installers of energy efficiency and renewable energy products and services. We only work with suppliers after conducting a thorough procurement process, so that we can be confident that we are offering high quality products and services, at a great price from a company we can trust.

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Time for coffee?


Many cafes leave their coffee machines on overnight so they are ready to go first thing in the morning.  This means they’re able to deliver that vital burst of early morning energy to customers, but it also wastes lots of electricity.

We thought there must be a smarter way to morning coffee so (with support from Moreland City Council) we undertook a trial to explore the potential energy and cost savings of coffee machine timers. We installed timers to six coffee machines along Lygon Street.

The process was simple and quick. Our qualified electrician installed most timers in 15 minutes. Cafe staff were shown how to adjust the timer and after that, it was back to business as usual.

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take2“An active, inspired community tackling climate change with sustainable energy solutions.” That’s MEFL’s vision. We aim to lead the climate change and energy agenda in Moreland and beyond, by working with our community, partners and stakeholders to achieve it. Just recently, we took another step in this direction. MEFL has joined with more than 180 other Victorian organisations, companies and local governments to become a founding member of TAKE2.

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Cooling Communities


Living in urban areas, we are often surrounded by dark-coloured, hard surfaces, lots of thermal mass in the form of buildings, and little in the way of vegetation or bodies of water that might provide shade and evaporative cooling. These factors work together to create the Urban Heat Island Effect (UHIE), and it means hot days are often hotter for longer in cities. As a way to tackle the issue of UHIE, MEFL in a partnership with Moreland City Council has created a new project named Cooling Communities. This project is funded through the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and will work in areas of social housing in Moreland.

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Council-led Energy Innovation Project


Centroc is a voluntary regional collaboration of 15 councils in central NSW. It facilitates co-operation and advocacy on behalf of its member councils. It’s a long way from Brunswick, but when the Centroc councils decided they wanted to boost renewable energy in their region, they came to MEFL for advice.

MEFL has been working with the CENTROC group of councils to develop a process to scope renewable energy projects. We assisted in the preliminary development of a proposal for a local renewable energy project with potential funding partners.

The project was founded on MEFL’s strong understanding of renewable energy opportunities, the energy market, current and future technology impacts, governance arrangements, council funding processes and knowledge of the ancillary social and economic benefits that can be derived from locally based renewable energy projects.

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From little things…

dollhouse-renovationsA Moreland house has been getting an eco-makeover in the MEFL office. It’s not quite the usual house, as this one is only 40cm high!  The teeny tiny eco-house will be used as a ‘demonstration home’ on tour around the Moreland community with the Zero Carbon Evolution team. It showcases many of the actions households can take to reduce their energy use, save money and make their homes more comfortable – especially from extreme weather.

The project was born when one of our staff offered an unused doll’s house. Through the work of three volunteers and a bit of creative license, we’ve been renovating the house to include features from carpet, curtains, shading and door snakes to solar panels, LED lights and insulation. There’s even easy to apply double glazing, a green roof and an electric car! Keep a look out for it at festivals and events across Moreland this spring and summer!

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Staff changes at MEFL

Mariela Mendoza

There are some new faces around the MEFL office. Rachel Maddocks has joined us recently as Director of Engagement (see below for a detailed profile). Kate Nicolazzo has been in the office for a few months and has now moved into a new role as manager of Positive Charge, replacing Chandra Sundareswaran who is moving away from Melbourne. And we have Mariela Mendoza (pictured) in a temporary role as co-ordinator of the Cooling Communities project (as mentioned above). Regular readers may remember Manny Pasqualini who was an intern at MEFL a few years ago. We’re delighted to announce that Manny is back, this time as our Renewables Broker. We’ll keep you informed of what our new staff are up to in future issues.

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Introducing Rachel Maddocks

rachelI am just starting week 4 of my adventure at MEFL – as the Director of Engagement I am excited to build on the already amazing reputation and legacy of MEFL, to make sure all our work together is shouted from the solar rooftops.

Essentially my role is to tell the stories that come from the wide ranging work MEFL does with our partners, clients and the community. To be able to contribute to expanding the conversation around renewable energy and be a part of the changing landscape of our energy sector is personally very fulfilling and allows me to truly align my work life with my personal values.

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