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A healthier and more energy-efficient housing stock

heatwaveWe know that improving the standard of our housing is required to meet the demands of a tougher climate. MEFL has been very active in this space recently. We’ve taken on key roles in a suite of projects which are attempting to aggregate the benefits of improvement to our housing stock to improve the business case for investment. And of course we hosted a workshop at the Spark conference on just this topic. The increased focus on improving comfort and health outcomes (such as reduced hospital admissions from less exposure to weather extremes) further builds a compelling case for action especially when aggregated with the energy savings to the households and the greenhouse gas emission savings (traditional MEFL core business). Our recent work has included:

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Alison Rowe – MEFL’s new CEO

Alison-and-Pugs-280It’s been a busy first month for me as the new CEO of MEFL!

I’ve taken the opportunity to learn about all of MEFL’s wonderful work (undertaken with Paul Murfitt’s guidance) and to find my ‘sea legs’ as the newest member of the MEFL team.

MEFL is a team which includes not just the MEFL staff, but you as well. Here at MEFL we have delivered honest advice, and innovative energy solutions which truly addresses the community’s needs because you help us identify those needs.

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Farewell to MEFL from Paul Murfitt

paulmMy time at MEFL has been nothing less than fantastic; book-ended by the challenge of the Solar Cities program back in 2008 and then the ‘Spark!’ conference held in Moreland just last week. During my tenure as CEO I have had the privilege of leading a remarkable range of staff – so many leaders in their own right – to deliver challenging projects that have improved our community’s sustainability.  I can think of so many examples where our work, with our partners and the community, has challenged the status quo and created more sustainable social and economic models that face up to the urgent challenge of climate change.

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Creating a Climate for Change

lucy-climate-for-changeOne of the great things about the Moreland Energy Foundation is that our staff are not only passionate about sustainability but are also a talented bunch! Two MEFL staffers were involved in a fantastic event at Northcote Town Hall on 11th August, put on by Darebin Climate Action Now and Melbourne Playback Theatre, entitled Creating a Climate for Change.

For the uninitiated, Playback Theatre is a type of improvisational theatre that uses stories from the audience or group and then interprets and enacts them on the spot. Melbourne Playback is one of the oldest Playback theatre groups in the world, having been in operation for over 30 years. Creating a Climate for Change was the fourth Melbourne Playback event to feature a Q&A panel to inspire discussion and stories on a particular topic. This event was sold out and had over 250 people in attendance.

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Holding onto power

Over recent months we’ve looked at various small-scale battery systems that are suitable for domestic use. This time we’re going large-scale and looking at Concentrated Solar Thermal power (CST) – a method of generating electricity that also enables solar energy to be stored in the form of heat. You’re not likely to have one of these systems on your roof any time soon, but CST has huge potential for large-scale generation and storage.

How it works

CSIRO_solar-thermal-newcastle A CST power station typically consists of an array of sun tracking mirrors (‘heliostats’) that concentrate sunlight by focusing it onto a target at the top of a tower. Some towers heat water directly to create steam to drive turbines, while others heat molten salt. Molten salt towers work by pumping ‘cold’ salt (about 280°C) up to the top of the tower where it is heated, and then it is pumped back down the tower for storage or immediate use. The advantage of molten salt is that the energy from the heat can be stored and used at a later time, or released immediately into a heat exchanger that produces steam to power a standard steam turbine. The molten salt has a 30+ year life span and can be repurposed as a high grade fertiliser.

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Want to win $1500 for your local sustainability project in Moreland?

MEFL is seeking applications from Moreland community groups, schools, early learning centres or other organisations that are leading projects that contribute maximum outcomes towards Moreland’s Zero Carbon Evolution goals. Moreland’s Zero Carbon Evolution strategy sets out our community’s ambitious goal to reduce emissions by 22% across the Moreland community by 2020. Each project must demonstrate how it will positively contribute to one or more of the ZCE goals. The winning project will receive a $1,500 prize to go towards the project. Applications must be emailed to helen@mefl.com.au by 9am on Monday 15th August.

The winner will be announced at the ZCE partner event on Thursday 18th August as part of MEFL’s inaugural Spark conference.

For more information, download the Zero Carbon Evolution Community Prize flyer.

 

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Sign up for a free home energy efficiency score AND the chance to win energy efficiency measures up to $1,500 for your home

Would you like to know more about the energy efficiency of your home, and how you could improve it?

Positive Charge is looking for households to take part in a home energy efficiency trial during August and early September.

On behalf of the Moreland energy Foundation Ltd (MEFL) Positive Charge is conducting a second round of trial testing of the Residential Efficiency Scorecard.

The Residential Efficiency Scorecard system is being developed by the Victorian Government to help Victorians better understand the energy performance of their homes, make informed choices about improving the quality of their living environment, while saving money on their gas and electricity bills.

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Vale Mike Hill

mike-hill

With deep sadness we note that Mike Hill passed away on 26 July 2016.

Mike leaves a huge legacy of achievements, including his vital role in the formation of MEFL.

Mike will be sadly missed, not only for his tireless work and campaigning for sustainability and social justice, also for his collaborative, friendly approach to getting things done and for his sense of humour.

We offer our sincere condolences to Mike’s partner Lorna and his family.

The family has requested that in lieu of flowers that donations be made to the Moreland Energy Foundation. Donations can be made online here or send cash or cheque to the MEFL Office.

MEFL Family

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