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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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MEFL’s CEO on Radio National

Our CEO Alison Rowe appeared on Radio National’s Sunday Extra last weekend. Along with two other guests, Alison spoke about the Finkel Review of the National Energy Market.

Topics

The conversation covered many aspects of the Finkel Review, including:

  • What the Review was actually set up to do
  • The three critical elements that need to be balanced: security and reliability of the grid, lower emissions and rewarding customers.
  • Ensuring an orderly and fair transition to sustainable energy
  • The role of gas in the energy mix
  • Supporting low-income households

The conversation also ranged over the recommended Clean Energy Target, certainty for energy investors and international energy issues.

Listen

You can listen to the program on the ABC website.

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6 Star and beyond

The energy efficiency standards for residential buildings across Australia were raised significantly in 2011. In Victoria, the standard was raised from 5 to 6 stars. This was a major step forward, and posed many questions, including:

  • What are the cost impacts of the regulatory change?
  • How has the building industry responded?
  • How effective are the codes and standards for residential buildings?
  • To what extent have architects and builders improved on the regulatory minimum?

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Our Energy Future in NSW

Positive Charge is now working with eight councils in NSW under the banner ‘Our Energy Future’.

Our Energy Future is a key element of the Southern Sydney Region Organisation of Councils‘ (SSROC) Renewable Energy Master Plan. It will be run by Positive Charge for a 15-month pilot period.

The program has been implemented thanks to a collaboration by SSROC and will be delivered by the Our Energy Future team, coordinated by Positive Charge.

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CEO Sleepout

MEFL’s CEO, Alison Rowe will be sleeping outside on 22 June as part of the Vinnies CEO Sleepout. Along with thousands of other CEOs around Australia, Alison will be experiencing for one night what over 105,000 people experience every night – sleeping in the winter cold without a roof over her head.

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Staff Profile – Greg Potter

Program Support – Positive Charge

My role is to support the Positive Charge program by handling inbound queries, looking after aspects of our social media presence, assisting project leads and other staff with a range of tasks, and generally contributing to the running of the office.  My professional background includes 20 years in a range of customer service and technical support roles.

I’ve long been an advocate for solar energy and combating the effects of anthropogenic climate change in my personal circles – I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to do so on behalf of Positive Charge / MEFL.

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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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