Clean Energy Expo Report

Nov 27, 2023 | Clean energy, News

The Sustainable Macleod Clean Energy Expo on November 19 saw engaged residents able to get the most up-to-date information on improving the energy-efficiency of their homes and reducing energy costs.

Thanks to Macleod College, we had an excellent space to showcase the latest information and technology. Featured products and services included all forms of insulation, solar energy systems, double- and triple-window glazing and sustainable home renovation. A display of private electric vehicles gave visitors the opportunity to hear about the advantages of EV ownership.

The displays included some innovative approaches, including an insulation material which can be applied like paint to external walls and roofs and solar roof tiles which turn the entire roof into a source of solar energy. A display of a range of solar panels, inverters and batteries made it possible to compare different solar power systems.

Bryce Gaton, a well-established expert on EVs gave a presentation: Is now the time to switch? Bryce did a deep-dive into all aspects of EV ownership, including the rapid rollout of EV charging stations and the economics of EV ownership. His talk also highlighted the growing number of car manufacturers which will no longer offer ICE (internal combustion), vehicles.

Randall Pearce and Robin Gale-Baker, gave an update on community batteries as members of Village Power, a community-based organisation. Village Power was awarded a community battery by the Victorian State Government, to be located in Alphington. They explained the difference between this battery, which is community-owned, and the Jemena owned battery destined for Bellfield. 

At the community organisations table, we were pleased to have BANSIC (Banyule Support and Information Centre) representatives there to explain the importance of supporting local families. Most eye-opening is how BANSIC is able to add value to food donations – as much as $10 for every $1 donation. 

Sustainable Macleod received a grant from Banyule City Council which enabled us to host Bryce’s talk and to produce four pull-up banners highlighting aspects of the clean energy transition. We will be able to use these banners at events and we can also loan them to other groups. 

Sushant Gurung, BCC Community Energy Officer, was on hand to explain how the Council can assist homeowners with reducing their energy use.

The response to the Expo was overwhelmingly positive. A post-Expo survey showed that visitors to the Expo were keen to reduce their energy use and to help reduce global warming. Interestingly, there was an even spread of interest in the range of exhibits, with the community battery information attracting the most interest of any.

Well over 80% of the responses indicated that the Expo had made it easier to take up clean energy options and over 80% said they would attend a similar event next year.

I am keen to run another, expanded Clean Energy Expo next year. It would be great to have any interested members join me on an organising committee. Please let me know if this would interest you.

Written by Paul Gale-Baker