Ausgrid have announced that the Northern Beaches will be one of three trial sites for community batteries. Solar My House program leader, Ann-Charlott Paduch, is very excited about the potential of this new initiative. As she says:

Installing solar panels on your roof already makes financial sense, in terms of savings on your power bills. A community battery makes the numbers even better, because you get some of the benefits of a home battery, but without the expense.

What is a community battery?

A community battery allows solar owners to share a large battery that is owned and maintained by Ausgrid. If you already have solar panels, Ausgrid claims you could make an additional $200-$300 a year by feeding excess power into the community battery, without the hassle or expense of installing your own battery.

“I think community batteries could be a real game-changer for renewable energy,” says Ann-Charlott. “As well as generating more savings for solar owners, they will encourage more people to install solar. And that will increase the amount of renewable energy in the grid and put downward pressure on prices. I’ll be watching developments closely.”

Find out more

Ann-Charlott presents our regular Solar My House webinar. The next webinar is on Wednesday 24 February, and she is expecting your questions on community batteries! Sign up for the one hour webinar, which outlines how solar works, how batteries fit in, rebates and other ways to make a difference.

For more information on community batteries, take a look at Ausgrid’s website. You can also sign up there to receive updates on the project.

https://www.ausgrid.com.au/In-your-community/Community-Batteries

 

The pictures tell the story. In just a year, Zero Emissions Sydney North has held more than 20 Solar My House parties and webinars, two Electric Vehicle webinars and a Solar Open House day. Our volunteers have attended Mosman markets, delivered flyers and hosted parties. After lengthy research, we have partnered with two businesses with renewable energy at their core.

We’ve built a core group of volunteers and found friends and colleagues across local government and not-for-profit organisations. We’ve won two grants and helped people put more than $250,000 worth of solar panels on houses in the Northern region of Sydney. This is roughly equivalent to planting nearly 5000 trees, or saving of nearly 2 million kilometres of fossil-fuelled driving!

All that remains is to say thank you to all the brilliant people and organisations who have walked alongside, including:

Mosman Council, Northern Beaches Council

Diamond Energy, Solarpro, the Good Car Company

Beyond Zero Emissions, Manly Food Coop, Mosman Chamber of Commerce, Mosman Community Connect, Mosman Community Gardeners, Mosman Environment Group, Mosman IGA, Mosman Parks & Bushland Association, Mosman Rotary, Northern Beaches Climate Action Network, Our Blue Dot, Pioneer Clubhouse, Solar My School, Wingecarribee Net Zero Emissions, Zali Steggall OAM MP, Zero Emissions Byron, Zero Emissions Noosa, Northern Beaches Secondary College, Manly Selective Campus and Mosman Public School

Our Advisory Team and all the individuals and businesses who have said ‘yes, sure, what can I do?’ And last but definitely not least, a heartfelt thanks to all our amazing volunteers, many of whom star in the video.

Have a fabulous break and we hope to see you in 2021.

We are a not-for-profit association of volunteers working across the Northern Beaches and the North Shore. We operate as part of the national Beyond Zero Emissions network. Our focus is on practical projects that will accelerate our transition to net zero emissions.

 

A shout out to Manly Food Co-op, who are our special guests at the next Solar My House session on October 27th at 6.30pm. The Co-op is a bit of an inspiration for me. It has survived many challenges. In March 2020, for example, it adapted the entire business to socially-distanced and online shopping on a week’s notice. You can now shop in person, or online, then pick up your goodies from their shop on Wentworth Street. It’s just down the street from Coles, next to one of the pedestrian entrances to the Wentworth Street Municipal carpark.

October’s Solar My House session is still on Covid-safe Zoom, but inspiration for my BYO drinks and nibbles comes from the yummy selection of locally-produced, organic, plastic-free produce stocked at the Co-op.

Sophisticated attendees could try Pickled cucumbers with seaweed and sesameOr chocoholics (er, guilty as charged) might go straight for Chocolate popcornThe great thing about all the Co-op recipes is that all ingredients are available in the shop. They’re packaging free and mostly organic, locally-sourced and competitively priced. For example, their certified organic milk is only $1.95 a litre. Although you do need to bring your own bottle or jug!

Non-MFC-members are welcome to join us for Solar My House on October 27 but places are limited, so book your spot. Or, even better, join MFC (it’s only $5 and you’ll get that back in your 10% discount) and grab some good things to eat while you find out about renewable energy, rooftop solar, rebates, batteries and more.