The City of Port Phillip sought AEF’s advice on the best way to finance its planned installation of 1.25 megawatts of solar PV systems across 75 buildings. AEF drew on its experience in facilitating Council corporate energy efficiency and renewable energy investment. We worked collaboratively with Council, providing preliminary options, then workshopping the results with senior Council staff, moving on to a draft report which was further refined before a final report was provided. The report explored a range of business models that could be used in deploying solar energy systems across Council assets. The report looked at the benefits and disadvantages of the different approaches that are currently available and advised Council on relevant factors that may impact the viability of solar installations.
In this pilot program, AEF worked with Moreland City Council and café owners to make a simple but effective change to the way coffee machines are used. Café owners often leave their coffee machines switched on overnight because the machines take a long time to warm up. Having staff arrive an hour early just to warm up the coffee machine is not cost-effective. The solution was to put the machines on timers so they can be switched on automatically at the right time. Because coffee machines use a lot of power, a simple plug-in timer is not sufficient; we had timers installed in the cafés’ switchboards by an electrician. The trial proved highly successful. The timer installations caused minimal interruption to the cafés’ operations and once set up, the savings were significant; café owners can expect to recoup the cost of the timer within a year. The idea has since
This project, initiated by the City of Greater Bendigo, sought to reduce the impact of heatwaves on its vulnerable population. The project enlisted the home and community care (HACC) workers who were already in contact with the community and had an existing relationship and understanding of the people they worked with. AEF worked with the Council to develop training and supporting materials to allow HACC workers to undertake assessments of at-risk people’s homes, to recommend small retrofits (such as draught sealing) and to make action plans that people could use to reduce the impact of hot weather on the client base. AEF delivered the training on-site and developed a small booklet and action plan that was simple to use, easy to understand and could be tailored to the individual. This project demonstrated the value of using existing service delivery organisations and staff, i.e. the HACC workers. The trusted relationship they
Campaspe Shire Council engaged AEF to undertake a study to investigate and make recommendations on solar generation opportunities across key buildings at seven sites. AEF’s report to Council provided a step-by-step breakdown and assessment for each site. The report identified financial benefits, typical payback periods, technical limitations and implications for the local power grid. AEF also made recommendations on procurement, optimal sizing and usage of PV systems.
In 2015, AEF reviewed the City of Darebin’s progress towards its goals of achieving zero net emissions in both its corporate operations and the broader community by 2020. The City of Darebin, in inner north Melbourne, has been a national leader in developing local initiatives to respond to climate change. Council has delivered a number of successful corporate and community programs over the years, notably their innovative Solar $aver program, Light$mart business energy retrofit program, co-generation plant at Northcote Aquatic Recreation Centre and a streetlighting efficiency upgrade. The review analysed council’s corporate and community emissions and scale of effort required to 2020, and reflected on achievements to date, the changing operating environment and contemporary science. It then identified opportunities for council to further reduce its emissions and influence community emissions, through renewable energy, energy efficiency and carbon offsetting. Finally, the review presented strategic options for target setting, carbon neutral certification,
AEF worked with the Centroc group of councils in central NSW on the Council-led Energy Innovation Project. The project developed a process to scope out and assess a range of renewable energy projects identified by the councils in the region. We assisted in the preliminary development of a proposal for a local renewable energy project with potential funding partners.
AEF was contracted by Alpine Shire Council to review a range of renewable energy options available to the town of Harrietville. We delivered an options report that examined the current energy supply situation and indicated key areas of risk and opportunity. In particular the report examined the energy requirements of the town during critical incidents such as bushfires and considered the best means to ensure continuous supply. The report found that energy for business is a key issue (up to half of the town’s electricity use is within 7 local tourism businesses). AEF undertook this project in partnership with Enhar.
In partnership with Moreland City Council, AEF retrofitted ten social housing properties in Moreland to improve understanding of the actions required to mitigate impacts of the Urban Heat Island Effect (UHIE). The project was funded through DELWP’s Victorian Climate Change Grants 2015. Health issues Global warming is leading to longer, hotter and more frequent heatwaves across Victoria. These conditions are compounded in dense built up areas through the Urban Heat Island Effect (UHIE), which is recognised as a key issue for Moreland. This extreme heat can cause and exacerbate a range of serious health issues. Social housing residents are particularly at risk from heat stress as they are more likely to live in poorly designed or maintained properties and have chronic health conditions. They also may spend more time in their properties than residents renting privately or owner occupiers. Upgrades Upgrade works included improvements to building fabric (insulation, draught proofing
Early in 2014, AEF completed a project as Environmentally Sustainable Development (ESD) Advisor to Yarra Ranges Council which focused on providing strong impetus in the municipality’s efforts to implement the sustainability elements of the Council and community plan ‘Vision 2020’. The role included the development of improved sustainability integration processes, particularly in capital works and planning operations, with staff capacity building and training. AEF provided targeted and specialised advice, training and support across the following areas: Capital Works Program – developed an ESD plan for nominated capital works projects. Carbon Management Program – review of Council’s existing Carbon Management Program and Asset Management Systems Planning Services – investigation of similar planning systems and tools to assist planners evaluate ESD inclusions in development applications Capacity & Training – delivered training and built capacity of Council staff on the assessment tools and frameworks that help to integrate environmentally sustainable development into capital
The Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH), NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet required a clean energy toolkit that local governments can utilize to develop mid-scale (30kW – 10 MW) clean energy projects. The project – a collaboration between AEF and Net Balance – developed comprehensive, practical project models that overcome the barriers and assisted in facilitating clean energy projects by local councils. Renewable Energy Precincts The toolkit resources and associated reports were used to inform the work of the Renewable Energy Precincts program and utilised by local governments throughout NSW to scope and implement mid-scale clean energy projects. As well as providing the toolkit AEF has delivered complementary training throughout NSW on how to use the toolkit and what other resources are available.
Greater Shepparton City Council engaged AEF 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. Council is confident that the Energy Reduction Plan will enable Shepparton to take a leadership role in addressing these challenges.
AEF 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.
Working with City of Darebin and Energy Matters, AEF’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”. How the project worked AEF’s Positive Charge team dealt directly with home owners to ascertain whether or not the program would suit