News /

EnergySmart Research Program

Moreland Energy Foundation is proud to be working with the Department of Health & Human Services on the EnergySmart Public Housing Research Program.

The program will replace inefficient electric water heaters, electric heaters and deliver tailored thermal upgrades to 1,500 public housing properties from July 2017. There is a significant focus on delivering these upgrades to regional Victoria.

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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 investigating the viability of microgrids. This means that small communities can install solar arrays with excess generating capacity and store any excess generation in batteries. The stored electricity can be used when the community’s solar arrays are not generating enough energy to meet its needs.

The project was sponsored by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and delivered by MEFL and GreenSync.

The final report is available on the ARENA website.(PDF, 2.7MB)

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Cooling Communities

As a way to mitigate the Urban Heat Island Effect, MEFL in a partnership with Moreland City Council is working on a 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.

Why Moreland?

Moreland’s suburbs are particularly vulnerable to heat waves due to a lack of green infrastructure and lack of water bodies such as rivers or lagoons. An analysis shows that vulnerability to the UHIE is particularly extreme in areas of social housing. This project aims to create a set of recommendations which will promote UHIE resilience in social housing areas, for use by local government, social housing providers, and residents across Victoria.

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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

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

Projects /

Sustainability Opportunities Developer Workshops at Kingston

Steller Managing Director Nicholas Smedley

MEFL is working with the City of Kingston on a series of ten workshops for local developers. The project involves a council-sponsored initial sustainability opportunity assessment by MEFL, working directly with the development team.

The workshops, which take between two and three hours, also act as an education opportunity for new environmentally sustainable development (ESD) approaches and technology. The methodology is informed by our experience in the management of the roll-out of Sustainable Design Assessment in the Planning Process (SDAPP) to councils across Victoria and the development of MEFL’s Sustainable Urban Development Framework which incorporates carbon (energy), water, waste, materials and transport considerations. This project has resulted in significant benefit for City of Kingston and developers.

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Projects /

The Commons

The Commons, photo: Andrew Wuttke
commons-small
The Commons

The Commons is an outstanding sustainable apartment development that used MEFL’s
Sustainable Urban Development Framework  to communicate their approach to sustainability. Situated in Florence Street Brunswick, the development was designed by Breathe Architecture and delivered by developer Small Giants. This project sets a new benchmark in sustainable living. It has won two Victorian Australian Institute of Architects awards for sustainable design and multi-unit housing.

The potential

New houses, commercial buildings and entire neighbourhoods are being designed and built all around Melbourne. MEFL’s work using the Sustainable Urban Development Framework has demonstrated that all projects have the potential to improve their sustainability outcomes. Early consideration and taking a tailored approach based on the project’s unique context can lead to better outcomes that don’t have a huge cost impact – a win for all.

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Sustainable Urban Development Framework

Urban developments built now and into the future will have a lasting effect on the sustainability of our cities. However competing pressures can make delivery of truly sustainable development difficult to achieve.

During 2010-11, MEFL developed the Sustainable Urban Development Framework (SUDF) to help project managers, urban planners, and developers embed sustainability features throughout development projects.

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Projects /

ESD Advice to Yarra Ranges Shire

Early in 2014, MEFL completed a project as Environmentally Sustainable Development (ESD) Advisor to Yarra Ranges Council which focused on providing strong impetus in the municipality’s efforts to implement the sustainability elements of the Council and community plan ‘Vision 2020’.
The role included the development of improved sustainability integration processes, particularly in capital works and planning operations, with staff capacity building and training. MEFL provided targeted and specialised advice, training and support across the following areas:

  • Capital Works Program – developed an ESD plan for nominated capital works projects.
  • Carbon Management Program – review of Council’s existing Carbon Management Program and Asset Management Systems
  • Planning Services – investigation of similar planning systems and tools to assist planners evaluate ESD inclusions in development applications
  • Capacity & Training – delivered training and built capacity of Council staff on the assessment tools and frameworks that help to integrate environmentally sustainable development into capital works projects and planning application and approval processes.