Please vote for our IDV Solar Project!

We have applied for a State Government Pick My Project grant to cover the roof of IDV* (next to the YMCA in Macleod) with 50KW of solar panels (about 170 panels).
IDV has been providing daycare for intellectually disabled adults since 1954. We plan to significantly reduce their high electricity bills of nearly $20,000 per year by installing solar panels on IDV's roof (which is ideally oriented for solar). We will save them $10,000 (or more) per year which can then fund more services for their clients. This is a project that IDV could never afford to do and it won't cost you a cent - just a vote as follows:-

Vote first for our project: 
Solar Panels for a Leading Banyule Disability Service Provider (IDV)  
And then select 2 others


How to vote - Registration is easy! 
1. Register with Pick My Project at https://pickmyproject.vic.gov.au/

2. In 'Enter your address or suburb' box, type in IDV or Macleod. Note you can only vote in a 5km radius of whatever address you submit by the Pick My project rules.


3. Go to 'browse projects' at the bottom of the page and 39 projects in our area will come up. Choose 3 - they all have equal weight so order does not matter. You must vote for 3, and for 3 different projects in the one area.

And PLEASE ask your family and friends to vote for our project.  Anyone above 16 can vote but each person needs their own email and mobile phone as this is how they verify that each person is only voting once. 

The case for solar we presented to our Mayor

Earlier this month, we met with the Mayor and Cllr Castaldo to present our top ideas to tackle climate change in Banyule. Essentially the recommendations were a new “Solar for Everyone” scheme (think Darebin Solar Savers), reinvigorating the existing Solar Bulk Buy scheme and supporting BCEG Energy Efficiency Workshops and Community Energy Projects. The approach we took was to marry emissions reductions with financial benefits to create a strong overall business case for change. Further refining needs to be done on the figures but we estimated 75MW of renewable energy generation potential, greenhouse gas emissions reduction of 103,125 tonnes CO2-e per year (=22,000 cars off the road) and annual savings of approximately $20 million for households and $16 million for businesses in Banyule. 

See below the full report of what we presented. 

Q) What are the Quick Wins that Banyule Council can proceed with to both reduce costs for local residents/businesses and rapidly reduce emissions?

A) Implementation of a new “Solar for Everyone” scheme, reinvigorating the existing Solar Savers scheme and supporting BCEG Energy Efficiency Workshops and Community Energy Projects.

 

Executive Summary

 

Gas prices have tripled over the past five years and electricity prices for residential and small business users have increased by 80% to 90% in just one decade.


Renewable energy gives us a pathway to rapidly reduce both energy bills and emissions as well as improve energy security and community cohesion.

 

The Banyule Clean Energy Group (BCEG) have initially identified approximately 25,000 households (including 12,500 low income households) and 5000 local businesses in Banyule that could benefit from the installation of Solar Panels and energy efficiency measures.

This equates to initial annual savings of approximately $20 million for households and $16 million for local businesses via implementation of 1), 2) and 3) below. This also represents approximately 75 MW of Renewable Energy Generation and Greenhouse gas emissions reduction of 103,125 tonnes CO2-e per year.
 

1. Solar for Everyone - Enabling Low Income Households to gain the benefits of Solar

Existing retail-focused government interventions (energy concessions; hardship provisions) are inefficient and ineffective for low income households that are able to use onsite solar energy for their daytime energy need.

Low income households who have high daytime energy use (and can hence benefit from solar PV), are best suited for participation because they are easily identifiable, likely to participate, provide sufficient scale for program viability and typically receive co-benefits (e.g. improved health). A proportion of these lower income households face price risks and risks of disconnection that present a significant societal welfare cost that requires intervention.

Banyule Council can play a key role in enabling these households to purchase solar panels. This can be done in a variety of different ways which are widely documented but will not be extensively covered in this summary. The combined implementation of a revolving fund model (e.g. CORENA) and a model where Council collects loan repayments on behalf of lenders (e.g. Government, Bank Australia, Bendigo Bank) through rates is advocated by BCEG to maximise rollout coverage and minimise risk.


Opportunity Breakdown:

The Population of Banyule is 121,865

  • 19,152 Pensioners

    • Assume 30% will be households, low income and not have solar = approx. 5,000

  • 7,555 Low income families with children

Therefore approximately 12,500 households in Banyule could benefit from this scheme.

  • Assuming 2kw capacity across 12,500 households installed:-

Minimum net savings (after loan payment) of $100 per year on electricity costs per household (savings are typically between $100 - $500 per year)

Installed capacity of 25MW

Renewable energy generation to reach 27,600 MWh per year

Greenhouse gas emissions reductions to reach 34,375 tonnes CO2-e per year

2. Solar Bulk Buy Scheme

The existing Solar Bulk Buy Scheme in Banyule has had very low uptake (< 10 last year) compared to other Bulk Buy schemes e.g. Manningham had 100 sign-ups last year, MASH have had 900 signups since 2014.

A study is required to be undertaken by Banyule Council / Positive Charge to understand what has gone well and what needs to be improved, highlighting successful approaches by other councils/groups.


Opportunity Breakdown:

There were 3600 Solar PV systems installed in Banyule in 2014. Assuming this has doubled since then that takes us to 7200 systems in 2018.

There are 44,433 occupied private dwellings in Banyule and 11,000 of these are rented.

There are 10,750 local businesses in Banyule.

Assuming 30% of landlords would be interested in Solar Panels, subtracting 7200 existing systems and the 17,000 households factored into the low-income scheme in Option 1 above leaves approximately 12,500 households that could benefit from Solar Panels via the Bulk Buy Scheme.

  • Assuming 2kw capacity across 12,500 households installed:-

Minimum net savings of $690 per year on electricity costs per household

Installed capacity of 25MW

Renewable energy generation to reach 27,600 MWh per year

Greenhouse gas emissions reductions to reach 34,375 tonnes CO2-e per year

Assuming 50% of local businesses in Banyule could benefit from Solar Panels and would be interested equates to 5000 local businesses.

  • Assuming 5kw capacity across 5,000 businesses installed:-

Minimum net savings of $1200 per year on electricity costs per business

Installed capacity of 25MW

Renewable energy generation to reach 27,600 MWh per year

Greenhouse gas emissions reductions to reach 34,375 tonnes CO2-e per year


3. Energy Efficiency Workshops and Advice to Local Businesses

Reducing energy consumption, improving energy efficiency and transitioning away from fossil fuel based appliances offers significant cost savings on top of those gained via solar panel installation. The Banyule Clean Energy Group are planning an ongoing series of hands-on energy efficiency workshops for local residents that will be hosted at a variety of different all-electric energy efficient homes. Our industry experts also plan to engage with local businesses to help them improve their energy efficiency.

We have feedback from the community and local organisations that there is significant demand for these workshops.

In order to maximise our success and amplify our reach it would be hugely beneficial if Council supported these activities via web, digital marketing, social media and periodic attendance at key meetings.


Opportunity Breakdown:

There are 44,433 occupied private dwellings in Banyule and 11,000 of these are rented.

There are 10,750 local businesses in Banyule.

  • Assuming 15% annual savings off the average household electricity bill ($1600)

Minimum net savings of $240 per year on electricity costs per household

  • Assuming 15% annual savings off the average business electricity bill ($6344) = $951 per business

Minimum net savings of $690 per year on electricity costs per business

4. Community Energy Projects

Community Energy projects help communities come together to develop, deliver and benefit from renewable energy.

We are currently speaking to a number of organisations including the Simpson Army Barracks who as well having astronomical energy bills ($40k annually on just one building!) have a real issue with energy security at the base as a result of frequent “brown outs”. This will be a multi year, multi phased project including install of approximately 1.5 MW Solar, battery arrays and storm water capture facility. We understand that this project could serve as a model for other bases to follow both locally and nationally.

IDV is one of the largest (if not the largest) adult disability provider in Banyule. We are hoping to save them between $10-15k per year off their energy bills via a new 50kw solar array. This will be used to boost existing programs that they offer to the community.

We are also in talks with a number of local schools and sports clubs including Macleod Cricket / Football Club and Rosanna Primary where we are hoping to install a large solar array and make significant reductions to their annual $22k energy bill.

Council support to auspice and endorse the community energy projects we are carrying out in the local community (web, digital marketing, social media and key meeting attendance) would again maximise and amplify our success. Streamlining the provision of all necessary permissions where required will also be hugely beneficial e.g. sports clubs.

Note: Further consultation will be necessary to confirm findings and to refine proposed financial modelling. All figures are from 2016 census and 2014 NAGA data unless otherwise specified.