Author Archives: SMOates

Could you host a solar farm?

Solar and Battery Bulk Buy Opportunity: Tues Nov 15, Moss Vale

When: Tue, 15 Nov, 6 pm for a 6:30 pm start
Where: Moss Vale Services Club auditorium, Argyle Street, Moss Vale, NSW 2577

There’s still time to RSVP at: www.suncrowd.com.au/southern-highlands

More than 200 Highlands locals have already booked for this event, in order to:

  • Receive 1-on-1 expert advice,
  • Experience world leading solar & battery brands, and
  • Learn all you need to know about solar & batteries to help you make an informed decision on the best home energy solution for you.

You too can meet the suppliers and your local installer. Ask them whatever questions you may have!

What you need to bring

  • A copy of a recent electricity bill (so that we can size your system to your personal energy needs)
  • Photos of both your meter and your meter switchboard – printed or on your mobile. Some tips:
    • Make sure that the resolution is sufficient so that we can read the meter specification. These photos will be attached to your personal application form on the night.
    • Information on the system size of your current solar power system (if you already have one installed)

You’ll have the unique opportunity to receive independent, expert advice from a Local Solar Mentors on the right home energy system for you. 
Bring a recent electricity bill for an optimal experience! 
Get friends and family involved!

The more the merrier

Invite fellow solar homeowners, your friends, family and colleagues to RSVP and join you at CANWin’s Suncrowd event!? They can RSVP here: www.suncrowd.com.au/southern-highlands

The greater the number of people that join your local campaign – the greater the savings for everyone involved. You don’t want your neighbours to miss out!

You can invite them by email, Facebook or knock on your neighbour’s door!

Tonight! Renewable energy bulk buy campaign begins on the Highlands

Mittagong RSL, 6 pm tonight (26 October)

Your opportunity to access world leading battery technology from brands including Tesla Energy LG Chem, and solar panels from Tindo Solar, Australia’s only Australian made and owned solar company. Reposit Power is also on board, helping bring the future of energy to people today. By harnessing their collective purchasing power, participants have the opportunity to access these leading technologies at $1k-$2k below average market prices.

Local community groups all over southern NSW are partnering with social enterprise SunCrowd, to enable one of the biggest renewable energy bulk buy campaigns ever seen in this country. The bulk buys will cover 5 regions, with free events in the Southern Highlands, Shoalhaven, Goulburn, the Blue Mountains and Wollongong.

Hand-picked community energy leaders from each region, trained by SunCrowd, will provide local, independent expert advice to enable individuals to find the right home energy solution for their household or small business.

One bulk buy of this kind took place in Newcastle throughout July of this year. The campaign was run in partnership with local community group, Climate Action Newcastle and was a roaring success – with over 998 solar panels and 201 batteries purchased by the local community. 193 households in the Newcastle region took part, benefitting from trusted technology and lower prices by working together.

The free Southern Highlands launch event, organised in partnership with community groups Climate Action Now Wingecarribee (CANWin) and Moss Vale Community Garden (MVCG) will be held in Mittagong next Wednesday 26th October. To secure your free ticket and get involved visit www.suncrowd.com.au/southernhighlands.

If you can’t attend tonight’s launch event you can still register your interest and find out more about how you can get involved in this exciting campaign.

By participating in the bulk buy you’ll not only benefit yourself, but enable your community to benefit as well through SunCrowd’s unique Community Benefit Scheme – which sees a portion of the revenue flow back into your local community to support the campaign partners and boost renewable energy projects.

SunCrowd is a movement of Australian households taking the power back into their own hands. The aim is to remove the decision-making complexity and confusion associated with new energy technologies, whilst using our collective purchasing power to lower prices.

Miles Lochhead, spokesperson for CANWin, explained: “With thousands of solar panel installations already in the Southern Highlands, we’re excited to provide locals with the opportunity to jump on board with the latest renewable technology, and in turn reduce our community carbon footprint. Even better, partnering with SunCrowd will enable locals to save money in the process and provide useful funds to support both CANWin and Moss Vale Community Garden”.

“With five communities joining this bulk buy spanning along the south coast from Ulladulla to Wollongong, and inland to Goulburn, the Southern Highlands and Blue Mountains in the west, there’s a real opportunity to benefit from a big discount off the normal retail prices.”

Chris Cooper, Chief Energy Officer at SunCrowd, also commented,

“For the first time in human history, we can create an energy system which is sustainable, affordable and democratic. But to make this dream a reality, it’s up to us – the people – to show leadership, act together, and take the power back. RSVP for your local event and let’s take the power back to the people!”

Find out more and RSVP for our local Southern Highlands event at suncrowd.com.au/southernhighlands

Our local solar and battery bulk-buy is here!!

We’re so excited! We’ve just launched a local bulk buy program in the Southern Highlands with SunCrowd!

suncrowdncle


To find out more and to join in the local community bulk buy campaign for solar and batteries, RSVP now to attend the local SunCrowd event:

Where: Mittagong RSL
When: 6-9pm Wednesday October 26

Local groups Climate Action Now Wingecarribee (CANWin) and the Moss Vale Community Garden are teaming up to bring solar technology to you in a way that’s affordable! The local groups are teaming up to make it easy, accessible, and at lower prices. With a huge 3,000 solar installations operating in the Highlands, you can join them, or if you are already enjoying energy from the sun, enhance your solar potential and SAVE!

On the back of the huge success of SunCrowd’s (& Australia’s) first ever solar & battery bulk buy in Newcastle earlier this year, residents in the Highlands can now participate. The Community Groups will benefit, you will be able to access the latest technology at the best price, and get free ‘smart’ advice on being energy wise – ethically, with no hard sell.

Here’s what you can expect at the event:

  • Receive expert information
  • Get one-on-one advice
  • Q & A with your local installer
  • See the technology & meet the suppliers
  • Access the exclusive campaign offers
  • Find out what to do if your Feed-In-Tariff is impacted by changes on 1st January 2017

So RSVP now — You don’t want to miss out!

Two locals, Miles Lochhead and Andy Lemann, both with a long history of working and advocating for sustainable causes, have come on board as SunCrowd event co-ordinators for the Highlands.

They can’t wait to help their local community improve energy management and access technology, affordably and ethically…..

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Vote for a safer climate

CANWin supports the #AYCC Australian Youth Climate Council in their campaign to #VoteClimate and to #PutOurFutureFirst. Here’s their Scorecard for the major parties:

AYCC climate scorecard

Election2016-AyCC scorecard

Getup have also prepared scorecards on climate and on renewable energy. For your information, here they are:

Getup climate scorecard

GetupClimateScorecard

Getup renewables scorecard

GetupElection16_nsw_renewables

Will Steffen: Science Meets Action

A version of this article appeared in the Southern Highland News, 5 March 2014. More articles from the CANWin column.

At CANWin’s first Speaker Night for 2014 Professor Will Steffen, of the crowd-funded Climate Council, gave a lot of information and a powerful call to action:

To stabilise the climate at a manageable level, most of the world’s fossil fuel reserves must stay in the ground.

The global carbon cycle

Professor Steffen showed that the carbon in fossil fuels – coal, oil, and gas – was locked away under the ground for millions of years. Right up till about 1850, that locked carbon could not affect the climate. The remaining carbon cycled naturally through the “earth system” – air, soil, oceans, plants and animals – but the total amount of carbon in the system stayed pretty much the same.

Then came the Industrial Revolution, when humans started burning fossil fuels. That sets free the carbon that was safely locked away. We are overloading the natural carbon cycle, and the unintended result is that we are changing the world’s climate.

That’s why energy efficiency and renewable energy are critically important. It’s also one, maybe even bigger than the risk to water and food, of many reasons to oppose coal and gas mining. In Professor Steffen’s words:

The evidence for climate change is overwhelming and clear. It is beyond reasonable doubt that the burning of fossil fuels is the primary cause.
We are already seeing the social, economic and environmental impacts of a changing climate, especially extreme events. The risks rise as climate shifts further.

Six things you can do

  • Learn as much as you can. CANWin’s website resources are one good starting point. Facebook can be an excellent source for breaking news. You’ll find free online courses at websites such as www.coursera.org. Spencer Weart’s excellent The Discovery of Global Warming is available as both a book and a website.
  • Connect with other people who understand that climate is critical. Local groups include CANWin, Lock the Gate, SHCAG, and Stop CSG Illawarra.
  • Just turn up to as many events as you can. Most events are publicised on Facebook, and the CANWin website has a calendar of local events.
  • Keep up those electricity, gas, and water saving habits. They really do help your wallet as well as the climate.
  • Switch to renewable energy or green power.
  • Support renewable energy projects, through organisations such as CANWin partner CORENA

Plus One

And a bonus action: Support the Climate Council. It’s one of Australia’s best sources of climate information that’s both understandable and reliable.

Turn Up the Heat

A version of this article appeared in the Southern Highland News, 9 October 2013. More articles from the CANWin column.
Feel like a Sunday picnic? Looking for climate action?
CANWin is hosting a picnic for friends, families, and new acquaintances in Corbett Gardens on Sunday, 17 November, starting about 11am. BYO picnic, and prepare to have some fun. At the same time, you’ll show that we care about action on climate change, and that our community supports strong, meaningful climate action.
There’s one catch: this picnic has a dress code. We’re dressing like a heatwave. Hot colours such as reds, oranges, and pinks. Heatwave accessories like zinc cream, parasols, fans, shady hats… whatever you can think of that looks as if you’re coping with stinking hot weather.
There’ll be activities and entertainment, and some group photos to show off our heatwave attire. More details on the CANWin website and Facebook page as the day gets closer.
17November2013BillboardBy coming along to the Bowral picnic you’ll be taking part in the National Day of Climate Action. Our event is one of hundreds planned for regional towns across the country; more fun and family-friendly than the big rallies planned for capital cities, but just as important.
Group photos from these events will show off our heatwave attire and make the point, gently, that the world is getting too darned hot!
Two out of three Australians understand that climate change is happening now. That’s a big majority, yet our politicians still haven’t caught up. Global temperatures continue to rise, but it seems the only charts our leaders watch are charts of their own performance. We need to remind them that we are judging them on their effective action to reduce carbon emissions and protect a liveable climate.
The National Day of Climate Action is organised by GetUp!, with partners including Climate Action Network Australia, the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, Friends of the Earth, Oxfam, the Fire Brigade Employees’ Union, the Australian Conservation Foundation, 350.org, and more.

Speaker event, Illawarra Flame project

IllawarraFlameHouseModelHousing is one area where examples of effective climate action are easy to find. The Illawarra Flame project to retro-fit a fibro home for low-carbon, low-cost comfort won a gold medal at the Solar Decathlon in China earlier this year.
Team member Michael Whitehouse will be speaking about the project at the Henrietta Rose Room on 22 November. Details in the Community Diary and on the CANWin website calendar.

Electric Communities

A version of this article appeared in the Southern Highland News, 9 October 2013. More articles from the CANWin column.

Petition to fund community energy

Click the image for information about more Australian community energy projects

We’re used to thinking of electricity as big and centralised. It’s generated by a few big corporations that trade with each other through the big power network. We buy it from businesses that are so big they use computerised people to answer their phones.

But does electricity have to be big business? Not any more. Renewables can put power into the hands of communities.

Community power, or community energy, are general names for various ways that groups of people are pooling their resources (such as space, money, and skills) into shared renewable energy projects.

Hepburn Wind, near Daylesford in Victoria, is a high-profile Australian example, but community power doesn’t have to mean wind power. The new Sydney International Convention, Exhibition and Entertainment Precinct at Darling Harbour will include a rooftop community solar park. It will enable inner-city residents who are renters or who do not have the roof space to invest in the technology.

Community energy projects are under way in many Australian regions too. Close to home, Wagga Wagga City Council has agreed to provide their energy usage data and site access to establish whether there is a sound economic and environmental case for the Council to host a community-owned solar farm. Riverina Community Solar Farm aims to find up to five hosts for solar systems, and a group on the Central Coast is investigating solar and biogas options.

A clever way to help cash-strapped community groups go renewable is through CORENA, the Citizens Owned Renewable Energy Network. CORENA is a not-for-profit that uses donations from the public to fund practical renewable energy projects. Electricity sales and loan repayments from completed projects finance future projects, thus continuously recycling donated money. In their own words, CORENA “… is people power reaching far into the future”.

You can donate to small or large projects through the CORENA website at corenafund.org.au

Working out the financial and governance arrangements for community power takes significant effort. Most groups set themselves up as co-operatives, drawing on the century of experience developed by co-operatives in other fields. Information and help is also available from Embark Australia, a privately-funded not-for-profit that is “…working to shift the community energy sector into the mainstream, as a proven and financially viable model capable of attracting large-scale investment and growing to meet its full potential.”

For more information about community energy, see the websites of:
Embark
Climate Rescue of Wagga
Renew Economy