In October REB held a Benalla Business Breakfast with the support of Benalla Rural City, and the Benalla Business Network. The purpose of the breakfast was to open up communication with the business community about a renewable energy future for Benalla. Key elements of the BZE transition plan for Benalla were presented as were key findings from the Energy Survey of Benalla Businesses. It was also an opportunity for local businesses to share their experiences of reducing their energy use and/or generating some or all of their energy needs. Information was also provided on funding options and grants available to businesses to assist with costs of implementing options to reduce energy use and/or generate energy.
REB has been working with Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE) to develop a ten year transition strategy for Benalla to achieve 100% renewable energy. This transition plan was completed in November and details three key strategies that need to be implemented to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve zero net energy. These strategies are:
i) Energy efficiency measures to reduce energy use,
ii) Promote and install local roof top solar,
iii) Investigate utility scale renewables,battery storage and micro grids.
On 28th November, Renewable Energy Benalla and Beyond Zero Emissions, with support from Benalla Rural City Council, held a community forum and workshop to launch the transition strategy and to explore opportunities for energy efficiency, roof top solar, bulk buy programs, community energy projects and the potential for utility scale renewable energy. As a result of this workshop a number of community members volunteered to form small action groups to help Renewable Energy Benalla implement each of the three strategies mentioned above.
Source: BSFG December Newsletter 2017
Report Referencing BSFG Community Energy Presentation to be considered by Council on Wednesday 15th June after 6 pm
BSFG recently made a presentation to council about community renewable energy, including seeking support from council to apply for funding from the New Energy Jobs Fund to develop a Future Energy Plan for Benalla.
The council asked Larissa Montgomery and Veronica Schilling to write a report which will be presented to the Policy and Development Committee on Wednesday 15th June. The report is very detailed and very positive and well worth reading.
This report is included in the agenda documents for the Policy & Development committee meeting of June 15th (refer pages 20 to 26) on the council website, The recommendations in the report are very positive.
This meeting is a public meeting, as was the meeting in May when I made the presentation on behalf of BSFG. I was overwhelmed by the number of BSFG members who came along to that meeting to support the presentation.
The meeting on Wednesday 15th is another important meeting as the council's Policy & Development committee will decide whether they accept the recommendations and what actions they will take.
Once again I believe it would be a good idea if some members of BSFG were in attendance to hear the discussion and the decision that council makes about this issue.
The report is the third item on the agenda and should be discussed shortly after 6 pm. If you intend to go to hear the discussion and the decision you should probably arrive by 6 pm or very shortly after. The meeting will take place in the Council Chambers in Mair Street.