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Projects /

Electricity Use Impacts of Photovoltaic Installations Study

The Electricity Use Impacts of Photovoltaic (PV) Installations Study investigated the impacts of installing a solar PV system on the electricity consumption of Victorian householders.

The project gathered data from Victorian households with solar PV and without solar PV and accessed their billing data to ascertain if there were any changes in household electricity consumption.

The results from the research, which involved about 3500 households from across Victoria, indicate that there is no statistically significant variation in electricity consumption between households with PV systems installed and those without. Significantly the results also indicate the absence of a ‘rebound effect’ once households have installed solar PV.

Projects /

Solar Shading Modelling Project

MEFL has undertaken a solar modelling project for the Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure (DTPLI) which examines the impact of various development scenarios on  shading of solar systems.

The modelling and subsequent report provides analysis on both the annual generation loss and environmental impact as well as loss of financial return on investment of the various development scenarios and utilises the PV assist modelling system to depict a range of electrical configurations and incorporating a wide range of influencing factors such as time of use tariffs and varying energy consumption profiles.

Projects /

Solar Scale Up

This project aims to catalyse the solar energy opportunities for the NAGA region, by bringing together technical advice, business case development, implementation, and operational support; NAGA and its members will lead by example, with solar installations on councils’ facilities, and more installations in the community. Through NAGA’s regional collaboration its members will be able to efficiently and effectively scale up solar energy across the northern region.

Overview

To date much of the focus of councils’ activities, both corporate and community, to reduce greenhouse emissions and save energy costs has focussed on energy efficiency measures. The opportunity to realise local solar electricity generation to reduce emissions has been regarded as cost prohibitive until recently. However, the situation is changing. There are currently over 60 installations on NAGA councils’ corporate and community sites generating nearly 600kW capacity (approx. 2,400 panels). Installations range from 12 – 330 kW in the 9 NAGA municipalities. The City of Yarra will have the largest with 330 kW capacity, when an additional 140kW is added this year to its existing 190kW. There is a range of reasons why solar generation is relevant to local government:

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Projects /

Delivering Clean Energy Solutions

MEFL managed the delivery of the Victorian Government Sustainability Fund project Delivering Clean Energy Solutions (DCES). The project provided bundled energy products and services to residents across the northern suburbs of Melbourne (The region covered by the
Northern Alliance for Greenhouse Action).
Solar panels and solar hot water systems were available through DCES, along with additional lower cost efficiency options throughout the year.

Business model

The project built on our experience of community bulk buys and resulted in a business model for delivering energy services. It developed a social marketing strategy to facilitate the rapid adoption of clean energy solutions into the mainstream community.
DCES emerged from NAGA’s Towards Zero Net Emissions Action Plan and was a partnership with NAGA, Manningham, Darebin, Melbourne and Nillumbik Councils and the Yarra Energy Foundation.

Projects /

Bright Actions Project

QCOSS project worker Mahshid

MEFL has partnered with the Queensland Council of Social Services (QCOSS) and Multicultural Development Association (MDA) to deliver Bright Actions, a Low Income Energy Efficiency Program (LIEEP) project designed to improve the lives of people from a refugee background. The project is based around increased knowledge of energy efficiency practices and improved understanding of the financial options and impacts of the energy and appliance choices people make.

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News /

News from Paris

MEFL’s CEO Paul Murfitt is currently in Paris at the United Nations Climate Change Conference.
He sent this report late in the evening on Monday 7 December (our time).

While the draft agreement reached in Paris over the last week has some promising elements, particularly the momentum for limiting temperature increases to 1.5 degrees, many big issues remain to be resolved in the upcoming second week of negotiations. Elements such as target review processes, the legal status of country commitments, paying for action and compensation for loss and damage, amongst other issues, will be exercising and testing our collective ability to reach a meaningful international agreement on climate action. For some great analysis and commentary on progress, have a look at this blog from the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute at Melbourne University.

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News /

The science of climate change

Academy of Science clears up any confusion

There’s no longer any excuse for anyone to be confused about climate change! The Australian Academy of Science has produced an excellent report titled The Science of Climate Change.

No, not another long obscure report with words and graphs you can’t understand. This report is written in everyday language and is broken down into nine “question and answer’ sections. There’s a choice of a downloadable PDF or an online version.This is a great resource to fill in the gaps in your knowledge of the issue, or to refer to if you find yourself debating the issue with ‘climate change sceptics’.

The introduction to the report reads: 

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News /

MEFL in Malaysia

MEFL CEO Paul Murfitt was invited to Malaysia in September to share the MEFL story at the Penang International Green Carnival.
Paul reports on his experiences:

The Carnival was a smaller version of Melbourne’s Sustainable Living Festival; a showcase of local sustainable products, services, community groups and projects. Alongside the carnival, a conference program featured a diverse range of speakers from Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Japan and Australia (represented by MEFL).  It was great to interact with those working on local sustainability from the Asian region and to create links for future collaboration. 

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News /

Brunswick Communities for Nature continues

Last year MEFL partnered with Adopt-a-Tree for Communities for Nature, an exciting project where residents and schools in Brunswick planted a nature corridor from Merri Creek to Moonee Ponds Creek.

We’re pleased to say this project is continuing through Brunswick Communities for Nature, with support from Moreland City Council and ourselves.

To give you an update on the continuation of the project, Brunswick Communities for Nature has prepared this short Q&A.

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News /

Wrong way go back

Implications of Federal Government carbon emissions policy developments

MEFL considers that the Renewable Energy Target is critical to maintaining our trajectory towards a cleaner energy industry and that moves to abolish it are not founded on reasonable assessment. There are several campaigns underway to advocate for retention of the RET, notably groups such as the Community Power Agency, the World Wildlife Fund, Friends of the Earth and the Climate Institute. MEFL strongly advocates everyone who is interested in seeing a greener, and prosperous future for Australia to support these initiatives.

There have been substantial shifts in the climate change and carbon emissions policies adopted by the Federal Government over the last few months. Due to independents and minor parties holding the balance in the senate, moves to eliminate ARENA and the CEFC have faltered, and these organisations are continuing to operate (albeit in reduced capacity.) However, the government has successfully repealed legislation on carbon pricing, and current indications are that it may seek to revoke the Renewable Energy Target (RET). 

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