70% tickets sold so hurry to secure your place!!
The North Coast’s annual event for creating a sustainable energy system is just around the corner and it’s time to book your tickets to ensure your place.
Now in its fourth year, the North Coast Energy Forum brings together industry, government and community to learn, share and progress renewable energy in the North Coast. This year’s forum has limited places so check out the jam packed program and book your tickets at North Coast Energy Forum.
A new consortium is working to establish Australia’s first community owned retailer, with big plans to build, generate and sell renewable energy in the northern rivers region of NSW around Byron Bay and Lismore.
Northern Rivers Energy is being formed by a consortium of “forward thinking citizens” after winning a $54,000 grant to develop a business plan and conduct a feasibility study. The plan includes creating a company with energy retailing as well as an asset management arm that could invest in generation, help finance rooftop solar and distributed generation for poorer households and, maybe some time down the track, even help buy back the grid.
Community owned retailers are common in Europe and the US, particularly in Germany where it is common for retailers and local network operators to be owned by local councils. In recent years, many of the network management contracts have returned to community ownership out of frustration with the actions ~ or lack of them ~ of major utilities.
The consortium hopes that the retailer can be in place in 2015. So far it is being cautious about predicting the size and scope of the business until it has completed its feasibility study.
Those interested are invited to go to Northern Rivers Energy and register to obtain more information or participate in the project.
Towards the end of 2009 two couples started an ambitious project promoting sustainability in urban living, which they named “The Green Swing”.
Until 2013 their main focus has been to complete a small scale, sustainable, inner city development called “Genesis” as well as setting up a framework (with Victoria Park Community Garden Assoc. & the Town of Victoria Park) to revegetate storm water drains in the Town of Victoria Park.
“Genesis” consists of two town houses and two apartments on a 837m2 block and within walking distance to the train station and shops. All dwellings were designed to make the most of the sun’s energy in the winter and to use shading, proper ventilation and thermal mass to dispense with air-conditioning in the summer. The design has resulted in very high energy ratings, including a 10 star!
This project showcases different construction methods: reverse brick veneer in one of the town houses; strawbale in the second town house; and double brick for the two apartments. The whole development is carbon negative (produces more energy than it consumes) and has shared rainwater and greywater systems.
Adjoining the site is the drain~ which can often been seen as a negative. However, sumps like this can take up a lot of valuable land in our urban area. Most are a hole in the ground with vegetation consisting of grass and weeds which is mowed a couple of times a year… and the whole thing is enclosed by an ugly looking fence. This has been turned into the Sump Community Garden
Imagine now how this site is being reshaped and used as parkland, re-vegetated with trees and shrubs, and potentially providing space on top of the banks for local food production.
The Green Swing team are now working on their third project, “The Siding”. “The Siding” will be a continuation of the vision for sustainability, again maximising passive solar orientation, high energy ratings and real community connection and lifestyle woven throughout the design and proximity to amenities.
For more details see ~ The Green Swing
Since May this year some 20,000 residents of Sonoma County California have been getting renewable power at a lower cost than from their previous electric utility.
Their new power provider is called Sonoma Clean Power (SCP), a non-profit and locally governed utility. It delivers power to a collection (“aggregation”) of cities and towns within Sonoma County.
The concept gives more local control over the supply of energy to a community, but without requiring the city or county to purchase the poles and wires from the incumbent utility.
And with more power procured locally, more of the $180 million in the community’s energy expenses will stay in the local economy.
For example, $12 million is collected from Sonoma County ratepayers every year to use for energy efficiency programs, but ratepayers have historically had no say about what programs are implemented—or where in the state they’re implemented. Now, SCP will get a portion of that money to develop new programs that are customized to responde to local needs.
Applications for membership of C4CE are now open.
Membership is open to all projects and organisations working on community energy ~ be they community groups, business, government agencies, research organisations and philanthropists.
Membership is the first step in a larger process for the formation of C4CE. The reason your membership is so important is because the next step in the process is nominations and voting for the first official steering group. Only member organisations can nominate individuals for a seat on the steering group and only members can vote for their preferred steering group representatives. In the next few week we will commence this process for appointing the steering group.
Click here to find out more or make your application for membership.
Starfish has completed work researching and designing the collaborative governance charter for C4CE. Collaborative governance is at the cutting edge of governance theory and practice. C4CE is using a voluntary and unincorporated structure, with the binding force being genuine mutual benefits and shared responsibilities throughout the membership.
A copy of the Charter can be found on C4CE’s website here.
C4CE is excited to announce the launch of the draft National Community Energy Strategy. The National Strategy is intended as the shared agenda for everyone working to address the barriers and maximising the opportunities for a vibrant community energy sector in Australia. The final National Community Energy Strategy will be released in February 2015.
You can find an A3 Summary as well as a longer document (web and downloadable) here.
The Strategy incorporates the ideas, visions and views of more than 180 participants at the Strategy session of the Community Energy Congress held in June this year.
Does one of the initiatives outlined in the strategy sound like something you are interested to progress or are already progressing? Contact the C4CE secretariat if you are interested to be involved and link up with others working on making the initiative move forward.
Yesterday the Australian Liberal National Party Cabinet formally voted to reject the Warburton the Renewable Energy Target Review findings.
This is a major victory and testament to the hard work of passionate renewable energy supporters across the length and breadth of Australia.
However, the RET is not safe yet!
That’s why community energy groups across the country are organising to meet with their MPs.
If you haven’t yet made a plan to meet with your MP about community energy and the RET, please do so. C4CE can help, contact Manny Pasqualini who is working with community energy groups to help them get the best outcome from meetings with MPs.
The impetus for this project is to prepare for the opening of the new Tamworth Regional Youth Centre in Coledale (December 2014). The youth centre is to be one of the first and few purpose designed and purpose built youth centres operating in Australia.
In keeping with Starfish’s charitable purpose, the youth centre policies and procedures manual will be made available under creative commons licence for other youth centres right across Australia to utilise ~ as well as to enable them to further build and refine the model over time.
Starfish acknolwedges The Youthie, Youth Action (formerly YAPA) and Auburn Youth Centre for their extensive work on the manual already, and for sharing their model policies and procedures for this initiative.
Read more about the new youth centre, which forms part of the NOW ~ neighbourhood, opportunities, working together ~ Initiative and The Youthie.
Read more about Starfish’s work on the Tamworth Youth Strategy.
Bruce specialises in the resilience of farming enterprises and has a degree in Agricultural Economics and over the past 20 years Bruce has has worked with more than 3,500 farmers. Bruce is a freelance consultant, however has worked with Border Rivers Gwydir Catchment Management Authority, NSW Department of Agriculture and the FarmBis program.
In parallel with this extensive on-farm practical work, Bruce has been developing the theory of resilience in agro-ecosystems. Bruce lectures in farm planning and farm business resilience with the University of New England for post-graduate and external students.
Keep NSW Beautiful has been campaigning against littering for nearly forty years. Its programs focus on reducing litter. In its annual report for 2013, Keep Australia Beautiful reported that national littering trends are decreasing in comparison to figures dating back to 2005.
November sees the launch of two of Keep NSW Beautiful’s campaigns.
The annual Tidy Towns Awards Weekend will be held on November 7,8 and 9 . This year sees towns from twenty six council areas represented. The event will be held at Nundle,which won the Tidy Towns overall category last year, and will host the 2014 awards. Early bird entries close on October 10.
Take the Pledge is a fresh initiative to raise awareness about littering, and keep litter OFF our beaches this summer! People can sign the Pledge online and also to volunteer for ‘Take the Pledge Day ‘ in November.
The Program is tackling litter on NSW’s beaches by collecting ‘pledges’ to not litter. Right now anyone can pledge online, however there will be a Take the Pledge ‘Day’ on Saturday 1 November, when volunteers will be recruiting their local beach to get beachgoers to sign up.
There is also a social media competition ~ with a surfboard up for the winning ~ for pledgers to have their photo taken with an ‘I’ve taken the pledge’ sign and then share it via Instagram or twitter.
Take the Pledge yourself ~ it only takes ten seconds! ~ and show your commitment to keeping Australia’s beautiful beaches litter free.
For more details see: