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

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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:

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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

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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Projects /

Darebin Solar $aver

Happy Solar $aver customer Mal Owen

Working with City of Darebin and Energy Matters, MEFL’s Positive Charge program was able to co-ordinate the installation of almost 300 solar PV installations on to the roofs of low income households in Darebin. The program, called Solar $aver, was completed in 2014 and is believed to be an Australian first.

Darebin City Council covered the up-front cost of the solar installations, which households are then paying back through their rates payments over a ten year period. The repayments have been structured so that households will save more each year on their electricity bill than the amount by which their rates are increased, so that they will financially benefit as soon as the installation is complete. This is an innovative financial arrangement known as “Save As You Go”.

Projects /

Energy Efficiency Potential of Victorian Homes

A study by the Moreland Energy Foundation for Sustainability Victoria, May 2010.

MEFL is undertaking a consulting contract with Sustainability Victoria. The research project is gathering information about the energy efficiency of existing Victorian houses. The study so far has given us a better understanding of just how inefficient Melbourne’s older houses are, what needs to be done to improve them, and how much it might cost.

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