CORE Geelong December Update

Dan CowdellNews

Welcome to the final issue of the CORE Geelong Update for 2017.

In this issue:

  • Merry Christmas & Happy New Year
  • MACS community solar project update
  • Geelong landlord and tenant go solar
  • Climate Safe Rooms grant application
  • Solar and battery bulk-buy

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

Wishing you a very merry and safe festive season and a happy New Year!

Thanks for your support throughout 2017 and very special thanks to the amazing team of CORE volunteers whose knowledge, passion and dedication have made the CORE task group such a success. 2018 will certainly be an exciting year for community energy in Geelong!

MACS community solar project update

Our 149kW community solar investment project at the Multicultural Aged Care Services Geelong (MACS) is progressing well and is on track to open for community investment in Autumn 2018.

The solar installation has been put to tender and we expect several well qualified local solar installation companies to provide quotations in January. Davidsons Accounting has also been engaged and have verified the projects viability with detailed financial modelling.

During early 2018 we will be crunching the final numbers, arranging the legal documents and setting up the new entity ‘CORE Geelong One’ which will provide an investment opportunity for up to 20 community members. We are aiming for the project to be open for community involvement in March to April 2018. However as 20 is the maximum permissible number of investors we anticipate the offer will be fully subscribed quickly. In order to access the Offer Information Statement and to attend an investor information briefing you’ll need to be a member of Geelong Sustainability.

Please stay tuned for more news and if you haven’t already please register your interest to receive more information about the investment offer when it is ready in 2018. And become a member of Geelong Sustainability so you can attend the investor info briefing and access the offer documents.

Become a Geelong Sustainability Member

Geelong landlord and tenant go solar

Geelong Sustainability’s CORE team has recently completed a case study into the feasibility of solar on rental properties and in December 2017 helped broker an agreement between a landlord and tenant to get a 5.9kW solar system.

Initially the CORE Geelong team was able to review the tenant’s energy bills and identify a far better electricity tariff, immediately saving the tenant $638 per year.

Under the arrangement the landlord purchases the solar system and the tenant makes repayments via a fixed increase in the rent. We have modelled the economic benefits of the solar installation to ensure the benefits are split between both parties.

The tenant will see savings of a further 20% off their already improved electricity bills. The landlord will have fully repaid the investment in 10 years and received a 3% return, as well as receive a tax benefit, and increase the property’s value with the addition of a solar asset.

That’s a win, win!

Read the Solar for Rental Properties – Case Study

Climate Safe Rooms grant application

A $300,000 application to the Victorian Governments Climate Change Innovation grant has been submitted for Climate Safe Rooms.

The Climate Safe Rooms project seeks to protect the most vulnerable members of our community from the effects of more frequent extremes of weather by providing a Climate Safe Room, a room that can be a safe haven during heatwaves and times of extreme cold.

In Australia heatwaves have killed more people than all other natural hazards combined. As an example, the death toll from a category five heatwave is expected to be at least three deaths for every 100,000 people exposed. People die from the effects of dehydration, hyperthermia, heatstroke and other related causes.

A Climate Safe Room is an energy efficient room in a standard house that has been upgraded to have good thermal performance – it is fully insulated, draught proofed and will remain comfortable in both summer and winter extremes. In addition, a high efficiency air-conditioner that can be used for both heating and cooling is installed, as well as a small solar PV system to offset the running costs of the air-conditioner.

The project will identify 20 of the most vulnerable members of the Geelong community and audit their home to select the most appropriate room to be retrofitted as a Climate Safe Room. It will involve the coordination of energy efficiency experts and retrofit providers, efficient air-conditioning suppliers and solar PV providers. The project will deliver a Climate Safe Room at no cost to each eligible resident; all costs will be fully covered by grant funding.

Project partners include Geelong Sustainability, City of Greater Geelong, Uniting Kildonan, ecoMaster and the CSIRO. The outcome of the grant application will be known by February 2018.

Solar and battery bulk-buy

We’re planning a community solar and battery bulk-buy for 2018.

The project will simplify the process of getting solar and battery storage and make it easy for residents and commercial businesses. It will utilise the collective purchasing power of the community to gain discounted prices on quality solar and battery storage systems. It will provide a platform for delivering trustworthy, independent advice about solar power by means of information sessions, one-on-one consultations and presentations from various solar and battery experts.

The project aims to:

  1. To install 200 solar PV systems and/or battery systems in the Geelong region and assist to reverse the current downward trend where only 16% of households have solar PV, lower than any other regional city in Victoria.
  2. To engage over 500 residents through community forums about solar power and battery storage and broadly raise community awareness about the benefits of solar power and renewable energy technologies.
  3. To give the community access to discount prices on quality solar and battery storage systems. Target of 15-30% below recommended retail.
  4. To alleviate the issues of confusion and trust which often lead to residents not proceeding with the installation of solar.
  5. To make the process of installing solar simple and easy for community members.

Stay tuned for more information in the new year!

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