News

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Regional Councils go solar

shepMEFL is currently undertaking a solar feasibility project for the Shire of Moira and the City of Greater Shepparton as part of both Councils’ ambitions to dramatically enhance their renewable energy programs.

The two Councils have recognised a need to:

  • Deliver reductions in the cost of running their facilities in the short to medium term
  • Enhance their leadership position in the community.

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Making it easy for businesses to go green

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As part of our work to help Moreland get on track for zero carbon emissions by 2025 MEFL’s Zero Carbon Evolution team have been working with Moreland City Council to make it possible for businesses (both building owners and tenants) to install solar at no upfront cost.

In September Moreland City Council approved a key tool – Environmental Upgrade Agreements (EUAs). These are a council-based funding mechanism that has been developed to enable businesses to borrow money at lower interest rates for upgrades that improve the environmental performance of the building.

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Parliamentary Inquiry: Community Energy Projects

hepburn-windMEFL welcomed the opportunity to appear before the Inquiry into Community Energy Projects, undertaken in November by the Parliament of Victoria’s Economic, Education, Jobs and Skills Committee. This is an important area of consideration for the Committee, as community renewable energy has significant potential to drive local and regional economic development and renewable energy generation in Victoria.

At the hearing MEFL’s Gavin Ashley and Manny Pasqualini addressed the potential role of community energy in the energy sector; the benefits of community owned energy programs; and the best ways to support community energy projects, in the context of existing regulatory and other challenges.  MEFL specifically called for the Victorian Government to establish a community energy target and policy mechanism to help achieve it, and funding for support services such as those that MEFL provides to community groups.

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Community Energy Congress

cty-energy-congressThe Community Energy Congress, organised by the Coalition for Community Energy (C4CE), is the premier event in Australia’s community energy calendar. It is driven by the desire for people to work together to develop and deliver sustainable, locally owned energy projects.

Congress 2017 will bring together up to 800 people, from the experts who pioneered the sector, to those who are just starting their foray into the community energy space, sharing information, developing skills, fostering new networks, celebrating success and planning for action.

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International student project

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Meet our team of international students! They are from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts, USA, and are working with us on a research project into the all-electric home.  They have completed background research about several aspects of making the transition, collected homeowner input, and created materials to help Positive Charge assist homeowners in taking action and making the transition.  There is more information about the project on the Posivite Charge website.

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Holding on to power

batteryIn past issues we have looked at various battery storage technologies. Recently we have received some questions about the broader topic of battery storage as it affects householders. In this article, we explore the concept of battery storage and the key considerations householders and businesses need to make when deciding on its suitability and type.

Currently, many Australian households pay 20-30 cents per kWh (note: kWh is a unit of energy) of electricity, and receive 5-7 cents per kWh, both depending on their retailer. Some early adopters of solar systems may still be receiving the ‘premium’ 60 cents per kWh Feed in Tariff rate for excess renewable energy exported to the grid.

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Introducing… Michael Iudica

michael-iudicaAs Director of Finance I supervise the reporting of accurate financial information for MEFL management and Board, ensuring that MEFL is financially viable and able to deliver our core activities.

I also assist all business units to achieve their specific financial goals, and ensure that incoming and outgoing payments are correct and timely.

I am a FCPA qualified accountant with extensive business experience having previously worked in the membership and legal industry as well as in the fashion industry.

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Projects /

Community Energy Guide

cty-energy-guide-200The Coalition for Community Energy (C4CE) released the Guide to Community-Owned Renewable Energy for Victorians in 2015. MEFL contributed to the Guide’s development, along with Embark, Community Power Agency and the Alternative Technology Association.

Developed specifically for the Victorian context, the work was funded by the Victorian Government. It is both a resource for community groups that are considering a renewable energy project and those that are already in the process of establishing a project. The Guide consolidates existing knowledge and resources and provides links to further information and advice. It provides practical pointers on critical commercial, technical, governance and regulatory aspects of renewable energy projects, including a wealth of useful information on identifying an appropriate business model, selecting the most suitable technology and managing a project.

Download

Download the Guide to Community-Owned Renewable Energy for Victorians.

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Positive Charge – Banksia Awards finalist

We were delighted that Positive Charge was selected as a Finalist for the 2016 Banksia Awards in the Sustainable and Resilient Communities category.

The winners were announced on 30 November and we congratulate the winner; Manymak Energy Efficiency Project.

Manymak was an energy efficiency project that ran for 2 years in six communities in East Arnhem Land.

Positive Charge

banksia-awardsPositive Charge is the only organisation of its kind offering trustworthy advice, coupled with the confidence to connect people with carefully selected suppliers and installers of energy efficiency and renewable energy products and services. We only work with suppliers after conducting a thorough procurement process, so that we can be confident that we are offering high quality products and services, at a great price from a company we can trust.

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Time for coffee?

Many cafes leave their coffee machines on overnight so they are ready to go first thing in the morning.  This means they’re able to deliver that vital burst of early morning energy to customers, but it also wastes lots of electricity.

We thought there must be a smarter way to morning coffee so (with support from Moreland City Council) we undertook a trial to explore the potential energy and cost savings of coffee machine timers. We installed timers to six coffee machines along Lygon Street.

The process was simple and quick. Our qualified electrician installed most timers in 15 minutes. Cafe staff were shown how to adjust the timer and after that, it was back to business as usual.

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