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Energy Efficiency Scorecard

MEFL’s social enterprise Positive Charge is assisting the Victorian State Government in rolling out a Residential Energy Efficiency Scorecard (RES). The Scorecard is an Australian-first home energy rating program, which will give a star rating for homes, in the same way as a fridge or washing machine has an energy star rating.

Purpose of the Scorecard

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

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UNAA awards

Moreland City Council and MEFL are finalists in the United Nations Association Australia’s World Environment Day Climate Action Awards, for their joint project to enable community tenants to access solar.

The project

This ground-breaking program was piloted in 2015/16. It established a revolving fund, which enables community groups who lease buildings from council to install solar with no upfront costs. They start saving money from day one. It was developed to help community groups reduce their running costs so they have more money to spend on what really matters. Enabling these groups to generate solar energy will also help to deliver Moreland’s Zero Carbon Evolution strategy, which has an ambitious goal of reducing the municipality’s community carbon emissions by 22% by 2020.

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Greenhouse Alliances Conference

Our readers will probably know of the Northern Alliance for Greenhouse Action (NAGA) but there are other greenhouse alliances all over Victoria – in fact 70 of the state’s 79 local councils are involved. The Alliances work across their networks, communities and partners to deliver regional mitigation and adaptation programs.

Links with Germany

The 2017 Victorian Greenhouse Alliances Conference has heard about what Australian local governments can learn from the experience of their German counterparts in encouraging a shift to a renewable energy-based economy. Dr Anne Kallies from RMIT explained that while German local governments had some advantages over Australian councils (such as being recognised in the constitution and having access to power supply contracts), they also faced many of the same problems.

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Staff Profile

Rob Kyle

Program Lead – Our Energy Future

I am coordinating the delivery of the Our Energy Future program in NSW on behalf of the Southern Sydney Region of Councils (SSROC). The program follows the already established service delivery model of Positive Charge and will work with local councils to engage their community in action on climate change. Our Energy Future offers a free, energy advice service to help people reduce their power bills without compromising on comfort. Our Energy Future can also link people to carefully selected suppliers to get quotes on solar and more.

Before joining Positive Charge, I worked as a Business Development and Projects Manager for a boutique solar company in Sydney. I have, over the past year, developed a good understanding of solar, renewable energy and the Australian energy market. I am also an experienced program coordinator from my time at engineering consultancy AECOM, where I managed the delivery of a government-funded neighbourhood planning program.

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Community Energy Congress

The C4CE Community Energy Congress on 27-28 February was a busy and highly successful event.

Some highlights were:

  • Keynotes from two of the world’s most respected voices in community energy: Soren Hermansen and Candace Vahlsing
  • A reiteration of leadership support for a renewable transition from Vic Energy & Climate Change Minister, Lily D’Ambrosio
  • The Energy Justice session, hosted by a group of Indigenous Australians and First Nation Canadians
  • Breakout sessions including Working with RE Developers, Financing, Legals and Risk, Grabbing Headlines, Empowering Vulnerable Communities and Political Support.

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Helping Moreland businesses go solar

We’re seeing more and more businesses make the smart choice to go solar. With many businesses experiencing major hikes in their energy costs over recent months it is becoming a clear way for businesses to increase their profits. With low interest, council backed loans (called ‘Environmental Upgrade Agreements’) now available in Moreland it’s also possible for owner occupiers – and tenants to access solar with no upfront costs.

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We pony up for good

Like so many people, MEFL staff had a stack of old technology at home cluttering up the drawers and wardrobes of our houses. We decided to do something about it. MEFL contacted PonyUp for Good to get a little help and do a little good. We bought all our old tech into the office and Pony Up came to pick it up.

How PonyUp works

PonyUp for Good is a social enterprise. They take your donated, smartphones, laptops and tablets, securely erase any data on them, then on-sell for reuse. The devices feel good about themselves as they’re reused for up to another seven years, providing affordable, working technology to folk in developing countries, while keeping toxic chemicals out of soil & waterways. The major kicker is: 50% of profits are donated to SecondBite, Australia’s fresh food crusaders, who last year, rescued 10 million kilograms of fresh food and redistributed it to over 1300 food programs nationally. That’s 55,000 healthy meals a day. 

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New Positive Charge website

MEFL’s social enterprise Positive Charge has evolved in the four years since it was launched. Last year we found the need to update our website and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to keep up with the changes. The Positive Charge team has been working hard behind the scenes to create the new website and CRM.

It’s been a long process with a lot of consultation to try to get things right. The new website should be easier to navigate to find all the tips, hints and new articles relevant to you. It will also link up with the CRM in order to streamline some of our processes. The website and CRM will assist people wishing to request a quote from a carefully selected supplier, or book a service (such as an energy assessment) through Positive Charge. It also provides an easy way for people to stay in touch by subscribing to the Positive Charge eNews.

The Positive Charge team is very keen to make sure that the new website is intuitive, informative and relevant – we are keen to hear your feedback. Have a look at the new website and send us an email with any feedback, comments or suggestions.

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Climate Change Adaptation Plan

The Victorian Government’s Climate Change Adaptation Plan was released last month. The Plan lays out the expected risks from climate change and the government’s principles and priorities for adaptation. You can download the full plan from the DELWP website but if you’re not ready to read all 81 pages, check out this short video made by NAGA’s Executive Officer David Meiklejohn. David explains the sectoral approach taken in the Adaptation Plan, with a focus on local government issues.