News

Projects /

Zero Net Energy Town

MEFL is leading a consortium in the development of a business case and blueprint for a Zero Net Energy Town (ZNET) in rural NSW.

The project will determine how best to use local renewable energy resources, energy management and storage technologies to generate at least 100 per cent of the town’s energy needs.

The town of Uralla in NSW which is located inland from Coffs Harbour in the New England region has been chosen from five towns that submitted applications to become the zero net energy town. They won their place based on significant local commitment and a passion for renewables with already widespread solar uptake.

The NSW government will provide $105,000 through the Office of Environment and Heritage to fund the business case and blueprint.

We are very excited to be leading the successful consortium. We’re working with Enhar, Little Sketches, Climateworks, Percepscion and former Net Balance and Deloitte economist Rod Marsh to deliver this landmark project.

Projects /

Merri Community Health Services

MEFL played a key role in the delivery of Merri Community Health Services CEEP grant through being their technical advisors throughout the project. The CEEP grant (Community Energy Efficiency Program, delivered by the federal Department of Primary Industries) facilitated the installation of a new HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) system, new ducting and new lighting infrastructure.

Results

The project was delivered in conjunction with some building envelope modifications, and overall resulted in a dramatic improvement in the energy efficiency to the site (almost 30% reduction in energy consumption) in addition to improved comfort for staff and patients. The overall figures show a $5,878 reduction in energy costs, with a 16,219 kWh/year in energy savings for the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system, and 14,080 kWh/year in savings on lighting.

MEFL’s role

We liaised between all of the stakeholders including architects, installers and MCHS staff to ensure that the energy efficiency and occupant amenity delivered through the project was as high as possible. MEFL also delivered a range of engagements to improve awareness and understanding of the impacts of the upgrade and sustainability in general, through workshops, briefing sessions and documentation such as pamphlets and website content.

Projects /

Demand-side Management Opportunities

The Clean Energy Council contracted MEFL to develop a guide to equip small and medium enterprises with the knowledge to better manage their electricty use. This includes how to understand electricity tariffs and daily electricity consumption profiles.

The guide details targeted actions to effect demand-side management solutions and how they might be of financial benefit to specific business types.

Partner and funding

The project was undertaken with partners Entura, who undertook a background study to support the guide. It was part of a suite of Clean Energy Council projects funded through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.

The guide is now available online.

Projects /

Carlton Housing Redevelopment – Post Occupancy Study

An exciting research project is underway at the Carlton Housing Redevelopment at four locations in Carlton.

MEFL has been engaged to deliver a unique suite of environmental post occupancy studies for a major public and private housing redevelopment in Carlton with key partners Department of Human Services. The current iteration of this project is the third in the series.

MEFL has been appointed to undertake engagement with residents of the buildings to understand if the environmental measures incorporated into the development are effective and of value to residents. This involves working with the community to determine their perceptions of the measures through surveys, interviews and developing case studies.

Projects /

Residential On-Ground Assessment Project

MEFL has been researching home energy efficiency, in partnership with Sustainability Victoria.

Improving the energy efficiency of existing houses is a key step in reducing household energy consumption.

We have undertaken a number of projects with Sustainability Victoria to gather information about how to improve the energy efficiency of existing Victorian houses. The four focus areas are as follows:

  • Replacing halogen downlights
  • Installing wall insulation
  • Draught proofing
  • Comprehensive energy efficiency assessments of existing houses

Read more »

Projects /

Shepparton Energy Reduction Plan



Greater Shepparton City Council has taken on MEFL to develop its organisation-wide Energy Reduction Plan.

Strategy

This plan develops both a long term strategy for the council to reduce the emissions intensity of its corporate assets and operational processes to ensure it meets its goals.

Expectations

Shepparton Council is very progressive, with a great array of talented staff. Like other regional councils, Shepparton faces special challenges in becoming carbon neutral. We are confident that the Energy Reduction Plan will enable Shepparton to take a leadership role in addressing these challenges.

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:

Read more »

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.