Energy and Climate

We recognise that we are in a state of climate emergency, and we urgently need to take action to avoid dangerous climate change and provide maximum protection for people and nature.

Get involved

While it can feel overwhelming at times, there’s so much we can each do to act on climate change. When we all play our part, we inspire each other and our impact grows.

Click here to find out more about what you can do. 

Climate Emergency in Darebin

We are already experiencing more severe and frequent floods, storms, mega bushfires, droughts and heatwaves. Northern Australia has become wetter; southern Australia has become drier. In Darebin we are experiencing more days of above 35C which disproportionately impacts our most vulnerable community members.

These changes are the result of the build-up of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane in our atmosphere. This is largely due to our heavy reliance on burning fossil fuels (petrol, gas and coal) for energy generation, and in transport, agriculture and construction.

This Snapshot Report shows the main sources of emissions in Darebin.  

Darebin’s Climate Emergency Plan outlines the leadership, advocacy and mobilisation directions this Council is taking to respond urgently, and at the scale required to address the climate emergency.

This plan has, at its heart, the understanding that we can find the solutions locally, nationally and globally by working together.

It has been three years since Darebin Council’s historic climate emergency declaration, and we are still calling for urgent State and Federal action on climate change. We have outlined five key demands relating to renewable energy, electric vehicles, construction and the use of recycled materials for roads, footpaths, products and packaging, to help Australia achieve zero emissions by 2030.

Darebin Climate Emergency Plan

We adopted the Darebin Climate Emergency Plan in 2017. Read the Darebin Climate Emergency Plan or the 8-page summary to see some of the steps that Darebin Council is taking. Click here to read more about what Darebin Council is doing to take action.

Want more information on Climate Change?

Darebin's Climate Emergency Journey

Darebin Council is dedicated to working with our community to take action on the climate emergency. We know that when we work together, we can achieve so much more. Most of us are concerned about the climate emergency, but many of us feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to start. Luckily, the ABC’s new series ‘Fight for Planet A: Our Climate Challenge’ is here to help!

Fight for Planet A explores how we can all reduce our greenhouse gases in three key areas – energy, transport and food - while also calling on our leaders to step up and take urgent action to address the climate emergency. 

Please click here for more information on the Fight For Planet A TV show, what Darebin Council is doing to combat greenhouse gases, or for further information about what you can do at home and in your community. 

Darebin City Council is proud to have been the driving force behind VECO, the Victorian Energy Collaboration, the largest emissions reduction project undertaken by local government in Australia.

Darebin is one of 46 Victorian Councils to join VECO and pool their electricity needs into one long-term contract with Red Energy which will provide the VECO group with renewable energy generated from wind farms here in Victoria. From 1 July 2021, that renewable energy will be used to power our council-owned infrastructure, like our town halls, sports grounds, community venues, leisure centres and streetlights.

By using renewable energy we’ll be saving 260,000 tonnes of carbon emissions from entering the atmosphere – the same as taking 90,000 cars off the road.

The VECO project doesn’t just the benefit the environment – by joining together, each Council will be paying less for their power than if we’d sourced our electricity individually. That means every dollar saved is another dollar that will be put back into providing vital community services and programs that benefit all of us.

Which Councils are signed on?

VECO consists of 46 Councils and include just about every type of local government you can think of. From the smallest, the Borough of Queenscliffe, to the largest, the City of Greater Geelong. There are inner-city councils, regional city councils and rural shires as well. Geographically, they’re spread right across the state from East Gippsland to Mildura, from the Alpine Shire to the Surf Coast.

The 46 VECO Councils are: Alpine Shire Council, Ararat Rural City Council, Ballarat City Council, Banyule City Council, Bass Coast Shire Council, Borough of Queenscliffe, Brimbank City Council, Buloke Shire Council, Cardinia Shire Council, Campaspe Shire Council, Central Goldfields Shire Council, City of Greater Dandenong, City of Greater Geelong, Darebin City Council, East Gippsland Shire Council, Glen Eira City Council,  Golden Plains Shire Council, Greater Shepparton City Council, Hepburn Shire Council, Greater Bendigo City Council, Horsham Rural City Council, Indigo Shire Council, Loddon Shire Council, Macedon Ranges Shire Council, Manningham City Council, Maribyrnong City Council, Maroondah City Council, Melton City Council, Mildura Rural City Council, Moira Shire Council, Monash City Council, Moonee Valley City Council, Mount Alexander Shire, Pyrenees Shire Council, South Gippsland Shire Council, Stonnington City Council, Surf Coast Shire Council, Strathbogie Shire Council, Swan Hill Rural City Council, Warrnambool City Council, Wellington Shire Council, Whitehorse City Council, Whittlesea City Council, Wodonga City Council, Wyndham City Council, and Yarra Ranges Shire Council.

Where will the renewable energy come from?

The 46 VECO Councils will be using electricity generated from two Victorian wind farms, Dundonnell Wind Farm which is located near Mortlake, and Murra Warra 2 which is being built near Horsham.

How much renewable energy will the VECO Councils be using?

The 46 VECO Councils have a combined energy need of 240 GWh per year. That’s the equivalent of powering 48,000 homes. Councils will be using the renewable energy to power infrastructure like their town halls, community venues, performing arts centres, sports grounds, leisure centres and streetlights.

What benefits will VECO have for the environment?

By going renewable, VECO Councils will be taking 260,000 tonnes of carbon emissions out of the atmosphere. To put it another way, that’s equivalent of taking 90,000 cars off the road.

Will VECO result in cheaper energy bills for Council?

Yes. We’re unable to divulge specific confidential contract rates, however VECO will save some councils as much as 35 per cent on their electricity bills based on current costs.

 

Please read the VECO media release for more information.

Interested in installing solar on your property through the Solar Saver program? Expressions of interest are now open.

Solar Saver Program

Solar Saver helps Darebin residents, businesses and organisations to install solar panels - saving you money on your energy bills.

There are two streams of the Solar Saver program:

  • Solar Saver Bulk Buy stream - where you pay the upfront costs 
  • Solar Saver Rates stream - where Council pays the upfront costs and you pay it back over 10 years. 
Darebin Solar Saver
Rates Stream Bulk Buy Stream

In 2020, only low-income households are
eligible for this stream.
(See Is my household eligible below.)

All Darebin residents are eligible to join.

Our waiting list for 2020 is currently full.
You can still join the waiting list.

All Darebin businesses are eligible to join.

Council pays the upfront cost of the system.

You pay the upfront cost of the system, including GST.

You pay it back over ten years, interest free.

You may have more choice of products.

You don't pay GST.

You will get your system installed sooner.

Choices are limited to set packages at set prices.
Batteries are not included.

 
 

 

I want to join the Bulk Buy Stream (I can pay upfront)

I want to join the waiting list for the Rates Stream

More about the Solar Saver Bulk Buy Stream

  • We have done the homework for you, via a competitive tender process, to find a reliable installer and value for money.
  • We have negotiated a 10-year warranty for parts and installation, and a 25-year performance warranty on panels.
  • While we don’t use the most expensive products, we have set a high quality standard in terms of manufacturing quality and the efficiency of the system.
  • Installers must be Clean Energy Council registered installers and adhere to strict safety and quality standards. 
  • Many households may be eligible for the Solar Homes rebate from the Victorian Government, which can reduce the cost by $1850 (inc GST), and you may also be able to apply for a four year loan to the same value as your rebate. Going through the Bulk Buy stream also offers you more choice of products, and a shorter wait-time.
  • The solar provider will assist you in applying for the Solar Homes rebate. Please visit Solar Victoria for more information about the rebate and to see if you are eligible.
  • You pay the upfront cost of the system (including GST). Many households decide to finance this via their mortgage, however these decisions are up to each household based on what makes sense for them.
  • Households can save money on power bills with estimated payback period on standard systems between 2-10 years (depending on your energy use, rebate eligibility, roof size and other factors).
  • If you wish you can customise your solar system including, by adding a battery, choosing a different inverter (potentially including micro-inverters), different panels, or other variations.  Note that some customised options are at the discretion of the solar company and the prices may be different from the standard option.
  • Businesses and other organisations can also register for the Solar Saver Bulk Buy (for installations up to 10kW).
  • If you want to go ahead, you just need to let us know by registering below and choosing the Bulk Buy option and we will pass your contact details on to our solar provider. If solar is a viable option for you, you will be offered a no-obligation quote. The solar provider will talk you through what size of system will work for your house and your budget.
 

I want to join the Bulk Buy Stream (I can pay upfront)

 
More about the Solar Savers Rates Stream
  • We'll pay the upfront cost for the system, and you (or your landlord) pay it off over ten years, interest free.
  • The savings you make on your energy bills will more than outweigh your repayments to Council, leaving you better off.
  • A range of sizes of systems are available. For most properties, the bigger the system, the better the payback.
  • Council has done the work to help you access:
    - Quality systems
    - Extended warranties
    - A reputable supplier
  • There have been three previous rounds of the Rates Stream of Solar Saver, with nearly 1400 households benefiting from the program. 

Is my household eligible for the Rates Stream?

If you answer YES to ANY of the following questions then you are eligible to join the waiting list for the Solar Saver Rates Stream.

  • Do you have a Health Care Card or a Pensioner Concession Card?
  • Do you receive ANY payments from Centrelink?
  • Has your employment been affected by COVID-19 and are receiving JobKeeper payments from your employer or JobSeeker payments through Centrelink?
  • Do you spend more than 30% of your total household income on rent or mortgage repayments, and your total household income is less than $74,000 per year?
  • Does your household have a combined income of less than $59,000 per year?
  • Does your household receive the Rates Rebate?

Please be aware that we may ask you to provide evidence for your answers. This is to ensure we are providing maximum access for our priority groups.

Frequently Asked Questions: Solar Saver Rates stream

Currently the Rates Stream is full, but you can still register now to join the waiting list for any future rounds of the program.
I want to join the waiting list for the Rates Stream

 

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Saving energy at home is a great way to save money and take action on the climate emergency.

Australian households generate about one fifth of Australia’s carbon emissions, which are causing rapid climate change. We can all take to take action on the climate emergency by making our homes more energy efficient and shifting towards renewable energy.

Energy Assist Program

You can access free independent advice on how to improve the efficiency of your home and reduce your electricity bills through the Energy Assist program offered by Brotherhood of St Laurence, Uniting and Australian Energy Foundation. Call 1800 830 029 or email energy@bsl.org.au to access this free service. Anyone impacted by COVID-19 is eligible. 

Tips for saving energy at home

  • The Energy Conservation Hierarchy

The Sustainability Victoria website and this comprehensive resource from local experts EnviroShop have plenty of tips about how to save energy at home. If you are looking to build or renovate your home, Your Home has a wealth of information including free 7+ star house designs.

 
Household Energy Efficiency Toolkits

Household Energy Efficiency Tool Kits are now available through Darebin Libraries! Free for Darebin Library members, our kits contain easy-to-use tools to help you work out what’s using the most power in your home, and how you can reduce it. Each kit contains a detailed instruction guide, and our top ten tips for simple ways to improve energy efficiency in your home and save money on your power bills.

There are four kits, one for each library branch, as well as two thermal imaging cameras for loan.

Our libraries team has also put together a great reading list for more information on energy efficiency and how we can all take action on climate change by reducing our household emissions. And keep an eye out for some upcoming info sessions to help you learn more.

So pop into a branch today to borrow a kit, and start reducing your energy use!

 

Top 10 tips for keeping your home cool

Check out The Australian Energy Foundation's top 10 tips for keeping your home cool and saving money this summer:

  1. Set Your Temperature Wisely
    Set your thermostat to cool to 23-26 degrees in summer. In winter, only heat the house up to 18-20 degrees. Every degree lower or higher can add 10% to your running costs.
  2. Use Fans
    Sometimes, a fan is all you need for some welcome cooling air. Since fans cost only $5-$20 per season to run, using them as much as possible helps lower your energy bill.
  3. Shade Outdoor Unit
    Either have your outdoor air conditioner component installed in a shady place, or protect it from direct sunlight with an awning. This will help it run more efficiently and protect it from overheating.
  4. Maintain Regularly
    Use the maintenance schedule contained in your air conditioner’s manual. This will head off many energy-sapping or expensive-to-fix issues before they even begin.
  5. Clean the Filter
    Clogged filters make your air conditioner work much harder to produce the same effect; for optimum energy use, clean or replace them every 1-2 months.
  6. Only Heat or Cool Occupied Areas
    If no one’s in a room, there’s little reason to condition it. Room sensors, smart controls, and timers for your aircon/heating can be used or get in the habit of turning it off when you leave.
  7. Keep Doors & Windows Closed
    Tell your fellow inhabitants to keep all doors and windows closed as much as possible. Using thick curtains in sun-exposed rooms is also a great way to keep temperatures lower.
  8. Insulate Your House
    A fully insulated home compared to a non-insulated home can reduce the cost of heating and cooling a home by around 40 to 50%.
  9. Buy an Energy-Efficient Split-System Air Conditioner
    If you have a ducted air conditioner system, you’re spending $100-$300 more — per season — than you need to. Energy-efficient split-system air conditioners are not only cheaper to buy and install, but also cheaper to run.
  10. Go Solar
    This is the biggest investment, but also the biggest savings - by far. In fact, it’s not even close: solar systems save their owners 30-60% on their energy bills, and pay for themselves in 3-7 years.

Webinar recording - Keep Cool, Save Money

To learn more about how you can Keep Cool and Save Money during summer, check out our webinar recording. Our friends at Uniting give practical advice on how to keep your house cool and save on your electricity and gas bills. You can also view the slides from the webinar here.

Watch the Keep Cool Save Money Webinar.

Keep Cool in Darebin Map

Download the Keep Cool in Darebin Map. This is your guide to where to cool down, get a drink of water and access help on a hot day in Darebin – for free. For a hardcopy of the map please email climateemergency@darebin.vic.gov.au

 

Keep Cool Postcards

Download our handy postcard for some great tips on keeping cool in your home.



Stay Cool, Save Money Webinar

Over the last couple of years, we have seen the momentum rapidly build behind councils and other jurisdictions declaring a climate emergency. It vital that as this strength in numbers grows, we collaborate so that we can be strategic, and also learn from each other.

Darebin Council has developed written resources aimed at supporting other Councils who have either declared a climate emergency, or are wanting to.

A shorter summary document provides a framework and articulates key processes involved in a climate emergency response. A longer document links these processes to Darebin’s climate emergency journey and key actions and challenges. You can read these resources here: