Key Result/Vision: A community which is self-reliant in our energy needs with a minimal ecological footprint and a model for other communities.
Goal 1: Local production, local storage and local distribution of renewable energy is optimised.
Goal 2: Energy demands of the community are minimised.
Goal 3: Community Awareness and Energy Literacy is high.
(See the full plan here.)
News and Updates...
Have You Checked Your Solar Array lately? It is important to monitor your system to ensure it is performing as it should be.
2016 Community Sustainability Survey included a number of questions relating to energy and you can find the full Report on the results of the survey here.
Appliance Replacement Offer Have you got a fridge which is 6 years old or older? Or a plasma or CRT TV? OEH Energy Efficient Appliance Replacement Offer NSW Office of Environment and Heritage is offering discounts on new energy efficient fridges and TVs so you can replace your old inefficient models. New appliances can cut your energy bills, improve your household and family living costs and help protect our environment. 40% discount on fridges and 50% on TVs. For more info and to apply on line see the website.
Life Beyond the Feed In Tariff - The session was a great success with nearly 100 people attending. Watch this space for links to articles and some of the recordings. You can also check out the Infographic we handed out on the day.
Smart Meter Signal Strength - There was info given on the day regarding the strength of the smart meter signals. It has been pointed out to us that the information given is not supported by the research undertaken in Victoria, which indicates that smart meters have a similar power output to mobile phones, only transmitting every 4 hours instead of every 30 seconds, and much further away from the human body. The radiation is less than that produced by many other household appliances and less than some current analogue meters.See http://www.smartmeters.vic.gov.au/about-smart-meters/reports-and-consultations/ami-meter-em-field-survey-report
Nonetheless, we understand that people have concerns about any radiation and the aggregated effect of more and more devices coming on line.
UPDATE - Important!! GOOD NEWS!! Just when we had given up all hope of Essential Energy coming to the party, they have now advised that an appropriately qualified electrician can rewire the single phase Gross Meter for Net and submit a notice of service work to Essential Energy. They will then change the Gross Meter register 70 to Net in their system.
This is only applicable for single phase installations and the cost is around $180.00 as opposed to $385.00 for a new Net meter. If the installation is 2 or 3 phase a 3 phase Net meter must be installed at a cost of around $645.00.
This is relevant to people who either do not want smart meters OR cannot have smart meters due to poor mobile phone reception.
At the info session we provided a Handout from the Report on “Life After FiTs” by the Alternative Technology Association commissioned by the Total Environment Centre. The full report is available on the Solar Citizens website plus a 1 minute video: http://www.solarcitizens.org.au/life_after_fits
Enova Energy An exciting Northern Rivers initiative to create Australia’s first community owned electricity retailer has achieved its investmenet target and has now commenced operating. You can now sign up as and Enova customer. This intiative is an outcome of the North Coast Energy Forums. A community-owned retailer will create numerous potential opportunities for community based energy projects. More info about Enova here.
For info about 'green' electricity retailers while we wait to make the switch to Enova, see the Greenpeace Green Electricity Guide.
Plugged in and Switched On!
The Nimbin Community Solar Farm was officially switched on in March 2011. 
The 45kWh farm is located across 6 community-owned buildings and has achieved or exceeded its anuual generation target of 61,000 kWh per year.
We officially celebrated the completion of the Solar Farm installations on Thursday 31 March 2011 at the Nimbin Bowlo.
To see the NBN News coverage of the event click here
Click here to see the Solar Farm LIVE!!
Due to our local climate and the price/availability of land, bioenergy may be more viable in the Northern Rivers than other large scale renewable energy generation.
NNIC was the lead agency for the NR Biohubs consortium, which in 2016 commissioned pre-feasibility assessments of three bioenergy sites at Nimbin, Murwillumbah and Casino.
NEW!! The Pre-Feasibility report into the Casino and Murwillumbah bio-hubs is NOW AVAILABLE here. You will also find the Report into the Social Licence investigations conducted as part of the bio-hubs project.
This project builds on the work of Sustain Energy - a working group of Sustain Northern Rivers , which commissioned the Institute for Sustainable Futures to undertake a NSW North Coast Bio-Energy Scoping Study. The Study is available to the public and you can find it on the RDA NR website here.
A Social Licence for Bioenergy?
The work of the Consortium has included research into the prospects for a social license for bioenergy in the Northern Rivers, building on work done by Sustain Energy, North Coast Energy Forum and others.
The Investigation Process So Far....
What We Found Out...