Blog - page 5 of 10

Energised contracts Portland Solar Bulk Purchase - 22/10/2010
The Portland Solar Bulk Purchase is a community facilitation project to encourage and help as many Portland region residents as possible to install rooftop solar electricity systems.
• The project is in fact a follow-up project to a smaller solar bulk purchase in 2008-2009. Systems proposed will be 1.5kW to 5.0kW and sourced from one of several tendering companies.
• 100+ installed systems is the goal – this is approximately twice the number for the first round of 45 installed systems and builds upon that project.
• Tendering companies will understand that success will come from a combination of value for money, quality equipment, and high levels of service.
• Participants will be assured of the best prices possible, best possible service, independent advice, and the protection of purchasing in a very strong, ethical, and well informed group.
• The project will be contracted from the Portland Sustainability Group – with project management funding to Energised Homes coming through supplier referrals of $200 per system. This referral fee is common among solar supply companies and because is a universally consistent amount further ensures independence and integrity to the project.
• Energised Homes will donate $10 to the PSG from each system installed, which will be income to be used by the group at its discretion. The PSG in turn need only allow Energised Homes to advertise through the PSG website & email newsletter, and be able to mention the PSG involvement in any external advertising and/or activities.

2010 Aquarius Crt heating/cooling costs - 8/10/2010
The figures are officially in. The 8 Aquarius Crt house has used 34.5kWh, or $8.80 worth of electrical energy to heat and cool it for 2010. This figure is VERY unlikely to change from here till the end of the year.

That gives the house an (unofficial) operational thermal efficiency rating of 9.9 Stars (for this house in this climate zone the cost would have had to be <$7 to be operating at 10 Stars.).

Any energy that has been required is supplied as 100% certified green energy which is credited from the Codrington Wind Farm.

A 5 Star house of the same size in the same climate zone would be expected to use about $500 worth of energy, or at about 2,000kWh.

In another comparison the house's super efficient fridge (which is the highest rating 400-450 litre fridge available) will use about ten times the energy that heating/cooling the house is now confirmed as using for the same period.

Solar Estimator now online - 1/10/2010
As part of the 2010-2011 Portland Solar Bulk Purchase, I have created an online tool to give estimates on the cost, benefits, and paybacks of getting a solar photovoltaic system fitted to your house.

Just adjust the default details to suit your own house, and see what the best sized system is for you.

Solar estimator

SHD a great success - 22/09/2010
Sustainable House Day went very well at the 8 Aquarius Crt house, with approximately 120 people visiting.

The weather showed off the house perfectly, with a slightly chilly 15c outside while the house enjoyed temps of approximately 25c all day - without the heater of course!

Questions were quite varied, but most were about solar power and energy efficient lighting.

Reports from Portland's other two SHD open houses were similar, with some great results.

Photo courtesy of Josh Nash from the Portland Observer

ABC Local Radio interview - 31/08/2010
Jeremy Lee from ABC Radio South West Vic has recently interviewed Peter Reefman to duscuss the 8 Aquarius Crt house and generally discuss carbon zero homes

Go to the ABC website to listen to the interview in full.
ABC Southwest

Small Business Heroes Exhibition - The Designers- Photos - 9/08/2010
Here's some photos taken for the Small Business Heroes Exhibition - The Designers event of Business Victoria's Enterprise Enterprise festival.
Photos on Flickr

Sustainable House Day 2010! - 4/08/2010
It's here again. Sustainable House Day 2009 was our biggest event of the year, and we'll be opening up the Aquarius Crt house again this year.

From the SHD website...
The ninth annual Sustainable House Day on Sunday 12 September will showcase some of Australia’s most environmentally sustainable homes to the public as millions of Australians continue to embrace renewable energy, recycling and other practices designed to lessen our impact on the environment. Environmental awareness – or being ‘green’ – is great, but putting it into practice around your own home is the best contribution you can make to living in harmony with our planet.
Find out directly from home owners who’ve put sustainable living into practice, about reducing waste around your home, saving water, natural home heating and cooling and more.
Sustainable House Day Website

PSG August Sustainability Workshop - 3/08/2010
After a brief spell the PSG is happy to announce our August Sustainability Workshop will be our biggest ever!

We're proud to say the this workshop will be focussed on an updated Climate Project presentation by our own Rebecca Phyland, and if you're not sure what the Climate Project is, think Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth movie - this is a totally up to date version tailored for us here in Southwest Victoria.

The timing is also... timely, as it's booked in three days before the Federal Election which has seen some pretty, er, disappointing climate policies from both major parties - but more on that on the night!

We'll also spend some time talking about our solar bulk buy. We now have over 30 people with an expression of interest, and we're headed for 100 before we get tenders from supply companies. So if you're in the purchase group (or want to be!), come along and we'll go through the pros, cons, and pros.

To make sure we have room we've moved from our regular venue of the Portland Library, and moved down the hill a little to the Portland Arts Centre - The day/time is also different, this workshop will be on WEDNESDAY NIGHT from 6:30 till 9:00.

Hope you can make it. Spread the word and please let us know if you're coming so we be ready!

Download flyer

Master Builders Green Living Conference Flyer - 10/07/2010
The annual Green Living workshop has been given a boost and has become a two day Conference.


Rob Gell
Director of World Wind Pty Ltd
Business as Usual? Or Sustainable Business

Tony Arnel
Victoria’s Building and Plumbing Industry Commissioner
Future Building & Building Practices

Rob Moore
Manager Urban and Park Design,
City of Melbourne
Transforming Australian Cities

Phillip Roos
Practice Leader, Environmentally Sustainable Building Design
BCA 2010, Changes to Section J – what it means for you

Peter Reefman
Energised Homes
Lessons learnt from building an 8 star home
Official conference flyer

PSG celebrates Renewable Energy Target improvements with bulk solar purchase - 10/07/2010
To celebrate much needed amendments to Australia’s Renewable Energy Target (RET) which passed through Parliament on June 24th 2010, the Portland Sustainability Group (PSG) has committed to conducting another bulk deal on solar photovoltaic electricity systems.

The PSG sees the RET amendments as important and welcome for two primary reasons. The first being that large scale renewable energy projects such as wind farms, wave energy, geothermal, biomass, and solar thermal will now make up the overwhelming majority of the RET’s 20% by 2020 target.

PSG President Peter Reefman said “The improvements will provide viability and certainty to this vital industry, and is especially important for Portland which is positioning itself to be the Renewable Energy Capital of Australia.”

The second reason the PSG is celebrating the RET amendments is that the design of domestic scale renewable energy systems has finally been given an ability to be additional to the target, which means household systems will no longer be subsidising big polluters.

The PSG along with many other groups has been lobbying for these amendments and for the first time since June 2009 is encouraging the public to install solar electricity and hot water systems.

The new encouragement will go as far as facilitating a second round of solar electric systems. The first round was finalised in early 2009 and saw 43 systems installed. Round two has a goal of 100 systems and is now open for expressions of interest from the public.

The PSG’s bulk deal coordinator William Chow said of the deal “This is a fantastic time to invest in a home solar system, and by being involved in the PSG bulk deal, householders can be sure they’ll be given independent advice, better than retail prices on top quality systems, and the knowledge that they’ll be helping the environment.”

The PSG is a not for profit organisation that is committed to helping people and the community become more environmentally sustainable.
PSG Website

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