Our Strategy

You can download a PDF of the 2018 MEFL Strategic Plan, or browse through its content below:

Table of Contents

  1. Message from the Chair & CEO
  2. Vision, Role, Strategic Goals and Values
  3. Community
  4. Current State
  5. Future State
  6. Strategic Plan on a Page

Message from the Chair & CEO

Travis Neal

This is an exciting time to join the Moreland Energy Foundation as the Chair. I have worked extensively in the renewable energy sector, inside both private and public institutions, and have been impressed by the great work the organisation has been able to deliver on behalf of all Australians, but particularly for those who are the most vulnerable.

We are facing a major transition of how our energy is produced, transported, stored and used. Whilst this transition is necessary, what it looks like and how quickly we are able to do so is by no means clear.

We are ready to play a major national role in this transition.

To do this we will focus on building successful, sustainable business models that will see us through the energy transition, regardless of the inevitable ebbs and flows of the Australian political landscape. Whilst we are a Not-for-profit we are also increasingly growing our business acumen. Our focus on the coming years will be on generating and returning a profit, in the form of time or money or other resources, to our most vulnerable communities.
This strategic plan outlines how we will achieve this through our role in this transition, which is to accelerate the energy transition by empowering communities to take action.

Alison Rowe

Being the CEO of the Moreland Energy Foundation fills me with pride.

It is with that same pride that I introduce to you our new strategic plan. This plan is the first that I have had the opportunity to build from the ground up. It has been a comprehensive process with all of our staff, leadership team, board and partners engaged in robust discussions about the challenges we face and the role we can play in responding to them.

The opportunity to work with the organisation throughout this process has proven to me how ready we are for this next phase of action. We have a strategic plan that reflects our big ambitions whilst ultimately remaining implementable, making sure we are all set up to succeed.

The last few years have been a time of growth for the team. Our focus now is to continue to build a consistently high performing, skilled and flexible team whilst delivering the high-quality work we have become nationally recognised for.

Ultimately the lynch pin for this strategic plan will be one of our defining strengths as an organisation – partnerships. From the first day we were founded we have excelled at building partnerships that deliver both impact and strong relationships. We consistently achieve outcomes in partnership with businesses, community organisations, government and, most importantly, the everyday people who are most impacted by climate change and energy poverty across Australia.

To succeed at our vision we will continue to build upon this rich legacy so that we can create an equitable zero carbon society for all Australians.

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Vision

An equitable zero carbon society.

Climate change is our greatest threat, it is also our biggest opportunity. Working together to meet the threat of climate change we can create an equitable zero carbon future for all.

In an equitable zero carbon society people have access to the energy they need to be healthy, have meaningful work, maintain financial stability, connect with their community, prosper through continuous learning and live in a thriving natural environment.

Role

To accelerate the energy transition by empowering communities to take action.

The future of energy will look radically different to energy today. Generated differently, distributed and used differently, bought and sold differently. This means significant change for all parts of our communities. We work hard to ensure communities play a meaningful part in this transition.

We are a trusted educator, partner, advisor and service provider. Our job is to build partnerships that demonstrate what’s possible, to give the right advice and make sure people have access to the information and technology they need to take action.

Our work is focused on Australia’s transition but we are recognised as an international leader in the work that we do. That’s why we take the time to learn from others and share our work globally.

Strategic Goals

We have three strategic goals that lead us towards our vision.

Goal 1

We create, demonstrate and share clear transition pathways to a zero carbon society.

Goal 2

We increase energy efficiency and investment in renewable energy in Australia.

Goal 3

We are a sustainable organisation.

Values

How we behave along the way.

Innovation – We think ‘outside the box’, seeking to be innovative, inspiring, enquiring, responsive and creative.

Honesty – We believe in speaking directly and providing independent, well-researched and clear advice.

Respect – We treat everyone with respect and dignity, appreciating individual and cultural diversity.

Resilience – We recognise that change doesn’t happen overnight, but requires flexibility, dedication and determination.

Team work – We work collaboratively as a team, in our own workplace and in our dealings with the wider community and our partners.

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Community


We are in the middle of a global climate crisis.

The world has experienced its hottest five years from 2013 through 2017, with 2017 the third hottest year ever recorded, and the hottest year in which temperatures have not been boosted by an El Niño event.

This record breaking heat is exacerbating extreme weather events across the globe. Heatwaves, bushfires, hurricanes, monsoonal rain and coastal flooding are occurring more frequently and becoming more damaging.

We know what the problem is…

“Human influence on the climate system is clear, and recent anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases are the highest in history. Recent climate changes have had widespread impacts on human and natural systems.” (IPCC – Climate Change 2014 – Synthesis report)

And we know what we need to do…

“There are multiple mitigation pathways that are likely to limit warming to below 2°C relative to pre-industrial levels. These pathways would require substantial emissions reductions over the next few decades and near zero emissions of CO2 and other long-lived greenhouse gases by the end of the century.” (IPCC – Climate Change 2014 – Synthesis report)

But we also know that this isn’t going to be easy…

“Implementing such reductions poses substantial technological, economic, social and institutional challenges, which increase with delays in additional mitigation and if key technologies are not available.” (IPCC – Climate Change 2014 – Synthesis report)

At first glance it can appear that Australia is only a small player in all of this. After all, we account for only 1.3% of global emissions, but this is a somewhat misleading figure. Firstly, it doesn’t include the amount of coal and gas we export for others to burn. When this is included the story is vastly different. In 2016 Australia contributed a further 1 billion tonnes of carbon to the atmosphere through the coal exported and burnt in other countries (2.76% of global emissions).

Secondly, when you look at how much carbon each Australian uses each year we are ranked 12th out of more than 200 countries.

There are different sources of energy and therefore carbon emissions. Stationary energy, which includes electricity generation, fuels consumed in the manufacturing, construction and commercial sectors, and other sources like domestic heating, accounts for 52% of Australia’s carbon emissions. This figure includes emissions from other fuel sources like burning gas, diesel generators etc. Electricity on its own accounts for 34% of Australia’s carbon emissions.

We are seeing some promising signs of change. For example, it is predicted that renewable energy will reach cost parity with coal by 2020 in Australia.

However, this transition is unlikely to happen quickly enough to limit the increase in average global temperatures to 2 degrees Celsius by 2100. Current scientific analysis gives us a 5% chance of meeting that shared global target and a less than 1% chance of meeting a target of 1.5 degrees Celsius. We know that an increase of 2 degrees will lead to significant changes that will have a dramatic impact upon all life on earth. This risk and impact increases in line with the temperature and also puts us in danger of hitting tipping points for particular ecosystems.

There is a mixed response to this challenge from government, business and the community. Pockets of excellence and enthusiasm are overshadowed by disengagement, fear and even denial. In particular they are not ready to respond to the impacts of climate change upon our most vulnerable citizens. Government owned housing often includes poor-quality buildings that are at the mercy of our increasingly frequent weather extremes.

The business community is a reflection of the complexity of the times we are in. Savvy operators see the opportunities of the growing demand for sustainable products. Whilst others remain wed to the ‘status quo’. Ultimately the shift to a more sustainable economy will raise many questions and challenges for Australians. Are businesses always acting ethically when they are selling sustainable products? How will we respond to the reduction in demand for blue collar workers?

Where are everyday Australians left amongst all of this complexity?

The vast majority of them believe that climate change is occurring and that the Government needs to do something about it.

However, they are somewhat perplexed by and unprepared for the rapid changes occurring that are affecting how they buy and use energy.

Their expectations as consumers are high, their understanding of the energy supply options patchy and their preparedness for the consequences of their energy choices is unknown.

The challenge (and opportunity) of decarbonising our energy sector in order to mitigate climate change, is further complicated by the need for Australia to build an energy future that reduces the rapidly growing incidence of energy poverty rife in our communities.

A recent KPMG report says that more than 240,000 Australians are experiencing energy poverty, this includes over 200,000 children. Large, low income families in public and social housing in our big cities are the most exposed. Indigenous communities are also amongst the hardest hit. This is having a huge impact on quality of life for many Australians.

The Energy Poverty Action Initiative of the World Economic Forum asserts that “access to energy is fundamental to improving quality of life and is a key imperative for economic development.”

The rising cost of energy in Australia has been central to all policy debate and development across all levels of Government in the past 10 years, with very little relief in sight for those who most need it.

Australia currently has a significant opportunity to utilise our response to the climate crisis to transition our rapidly changing energy sector to a fairer, more equitable service for all.
It is an unprecedented moment of opportunity, risk and choice for humanity.

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Current State

Reputation, history and leadership

The Moreland Energy Foundation Ltd (MEFL) was established in 2000 by Moreland City Council after the privatisation of the Victorian electricity industry.

MEFL has a reputation for delivering bold, innovative, effective projects and campaigns. We are known and respected across Australia largely for our legacy of working closely with the residents, businesses and council in the City of Moreland to deliver on their collective carbon reduction goals.

In recent times we have begun to expand our reach into other regions of Australia, for example through our program Positive Charge, which now operates across Victoria and NSW. Currently our potential outstrips our impact in the national conversation. Whilst MEFL does work that could provide leadership and knowledge to the globe we don’t currently hold a significant profile on the international stage.

This solid reputation has been built upon the legacy of effort from the generous, passionate and focused people who have worked for or governed the organisation.
Recent history has seen a changing of the guard at MEFL. The current CEO, Alison Rowe commenced her role in August of 2016 and now is working with an Executive that is looking upon the organisation with reasonably new eyes. 2018 will see the transition to a new Chair, with Monique Conheady handing the reins to Travis Neal in May 2018 after a long and successful 7 year term as Chair.

Our focus

Stationary energy is our focus. In particular the generation, distribution and sale of electricity and how we can transition to a more efficient, transparent and equitable electricity market fuelled by renewable energy.

MEFL is delivering programs, projects, products and services that ensure households, businesses, community organisations and all levels of government have the information, advice, products and services they can trust to help them make the transition.

Our impact

Our greatest impact is in the reduction of carbon emissions achieved through uptake of renewable energy and energy efficiency. During the last five years we have reduced over 260,000 tonnes of carbon emissions. MEFL also achieves significant impact through our ability to demonstrate successful models delivering change to all parts of our society.
Organisation

We are a growing organisation. In 2017 MEFL recruited 27 new staff members, growing the team to a total of 42. This included our expansion into New South Wales with the Our Energy Future program and the establishment of a Sydney office in Redfern with two full time staff.

Internal systems and project governance required for the larger organisation we are becoming has been identified as an area for significant investment over the next few years.

Our People

Our people love working for us. MEFL staff have consistently reported they are happy working at MEFL and proud to work at MEFL (each of these scoring 8.4/10 and 10/10 in the 2017 staff survey). Staff have also reported a high level of comfort and confidence in approaching their manager with any issues or challenges they are facing (8.8/10). These are aspects of working at MEFL the organisation aims to maintain and strengthen.

Being responsive to the market and project focused has seen the organisation build a great reputation however it has also had its challenges. Managing the ‘project based’ growth of our teams whilst maintaining good communication across the organisation has proven challenging. As has ensuring people maintain a good work-life balance as they consistently deliver high quality projects.

Partners

Moreland City Council were the first and have always been MEFL’s strongest and most significant partner. However we have been working outside of Moreland for the past 10 years and now have strong relationships with more than 20 councils across Victoria. We are further expanding our horizons and broadening our partnerships to include councils in NSW, South Australia and Queensland.

All levels of Government are critical to our work. In Victoria we deliver projects with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR) and Sustainability Victoria. We are building relationships with State Governments in NSW, through the Office for Environment and Heritage, and Queensland, through the Department of Energy and Water Supply.

Our relationships with Local Government have expanded to include a new significant partner the South Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (SSROC), which has proven to be a critical conduit between us and their local government members. MEFL is expanding these types of partnerships to include the Northern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (NSROC) and the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC).

MEFL has also been delivering some projects directly with key departments and agencies within the Federal Government such as ARENA and the Department of Environment and Energy.
Our partnerships with electricity distributors such as Jemena, CitiPower, Powercor and United Energy and energy retailers such as Powershop, have grown significantly in the past three years. What used to be mostly information-based relationships has extended to delivering projects together, for example the “Your Community Energy” initiative with Powershop and Power Changers project with Jemena.

One of our most critical and challenging relationships is with our suppliers of renewable energy and energy efficiency products and services. Our success often relies on their ability to deliver a high quality product, on time and on budget. Currently there are real issues with workforce capacity for installations of solar PV across Victoria and New South Wales, which have led to significant delays and in some cases, unhappy customers. This is a key area we are working to resolve.

Building upon our reputation for being able to engage local communities we have also been working more closely with consumer bodies nationally, like Energy Consumers Australia, to ensure Australians are able to make well informed choices about their energy consumption in the face of the coming market complexities.

The growing community energy sector is a key partner for MEFL in our work. We have been supporting the Victorian Community Solar Alliance for the past three years and MEFL expects these partnerships will grow in the coming years.

One of the ways we envisage this happening most effectively is through our newest initiative the Energy Foundation Australia (EFA). The EFA will work with the growing number of community energy groups and foundations to provide a platform to drive greater investment and impact in their local communities, by providing low cost shared services, helping these groups reduce duplication and focus on accelerating and amplifying their local impact.

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Future State

Reputation

We will be recognised as an organisation that is able to effectively deliver on our carbon reduction targets through grass roots community action projects, which we deliver all across Australia. Our success in national delivery will be the platform for our burgeoning position as a global leader.

Moreland Energy Foundation Ltd is now considered to be one of the most significant national players in Australia’s efforts to meet or exceed its carbon reduction commitments.
Moreland continues to be a critical ‘home base’ for proving the validity of our approaches and gathering knowledge about how to work successfully with communities to reduce their carbon use.
Our relationships with similar councils across the country has grown exponentially. Our national reputation for excellence is now matched by our ability to deliver successful projects across all of Australia.

The leadership team is now well established, with a cohesive Executive Team who work effectively together to manage a rapidly growing organisation, and a dynamic board who continue to balance the need for a steady hand with the need to be responsive and dynamic.

Our focus

Stationary energy and the energy transition continue to be our focus. The energy transition will result in energy being generated differently, distributed and used differently, bought and sold differently.

We are delivering major projects that deliver great energy efficiency, renewable energy and financial outcomes.
We are delivering trusted information, advice and products for those who can afford to pay and providing solutions for those who can’t afford it – either in partnership with different levels of government or through internal investment.

Our impact

MEFL will be delivering significant carbon savings through our programs and the increasingly rapid uptake of renewable energy across Australia. We will be delivering both energy and financial savings for households, businesses and community organisations. People’s homes, businesses, schools and community facilities will be more comfortable and efficient, having a significant impact on the health of individuals and communities.

Our work will begin to deliver greater choice for consumers who want more control, as well as providing easy to understand information for consumers who want to make simple and limited choices.

We will be demonstrating that the transition is possible and we are doing it!

Organisation

After significant technological upgrades and a concerted effort from all staff we now have the systems and processes in place to access the real time data we need to make solid decisions.
Our strategic planning and business planning processes are robust but not cumbersome. Including our evaluation framework and methodology that is easy to understand and is now consistently utilised to understand and share information about our social impact.

People

MEFL is recognised as one of the best places to work in the sector. People work in a way that is flexible, adaptable and highly skilled. We have a diverse team who are all highly engaged and motivated. Our culture connects the team with our purpose, their career aspirations and a community of peers. MEFL’s culture of inclusion and exceptional diversity management practices means that we are a leading employer of choice and we capitalise on the business benefits of a diverse workforce.

Partners

MEFL is working in new ways with a broader range of partners than ever before. We work with all levels of government, energy companies and community organisations, product suppliers and installers, consulting firms, researchers, universities, consumer organisations, social and health providers.
We always seek to find opportunities to collaborate with potential competitors, we co-design and co-deliver, endeavouring to find ways of creating value for individuals, businesses and the broader community. However, we also recognise that from time to time a little competition is healthy for the sector and can drive innovation in unexpected ways.

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Strategic Plan on a Page

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