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. 

Community Skills for Climate Action - A community training program

Do you want to work with others in your area to take action on climate change? Are you keen to reach as many different people and groups as possible, and together have the most impact? 

This program is for you! Register your interest.

Darebin, Yarra and Moreland Councils are offering a nine session program to support people across our cities to work together to take effective action on climate change. We believe that climate action is for everyone and comes in many forms - campaigns, advocacy, community projects, conversations and more!

Whether you’ve been engaged with climate or environmental issues for a long time, or if you’re new, this program is for you if you’re wanting to:

  • Deepen your level of climate action, wherever you are at
  • Consider, or reconnect with, how you can take climate action in ways that suit your unique skills, experience, networks and interests
  • Develop new skills to help your work have the most impact
  • Use your existing networks, and/or develop new ones, to extend your reach and impact
  • Meet and work with others in your community who are passionate about climate action

Apply for the program.

What you’ll get from the program

The Community Skills for Climate Action program will be led by experienced facilitators with experts brought in for various sessions. Participants will:

  • Build strong relationships with people across our cities who are committed to taking climate action
  • Hear from others who are active in climate action
  • Explore what collective local action and advocacy can look like in our cities, and how to reach out within and beyond your networks
  • Gain skills to plan and run effective campaigns, use social media and other online tools to reach people from a range of backgrounds, and ensure your actions have the most impact
  • Explore working effectively with others, sharing the load and self-care

Up to 75 people will be able to take part in the program — 25 from each Council area.

Who should apply?

We’re seeking applications from enthusiastic people who:

  • Live, work, study or are involved in community groups/organisations in our cities
  • Are over 15 years old
  • Are committed to take action on climate change throughout and after the program
  • Are able to attend all nine sessions.

We value diversity and particularly encourage applications from people from Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander communities, and from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Communities.

Register your interest.

What’s the commitment?
 
The nine-week program will run on the following Thursday evenings from 7 - 9pm, between late April and early September (excluding school holidays):

  • Session 1: 6 May
  • Session 2: 20 May
  • Session 3: 3 June
  • Session 4: 17 June
  • Session 5: 29 July
  • Session 6: 5 August
  • Session 7: 19 August
  • Session 8: 2 September 
  • Session 9: 9 September

We ask that applicants commit to attending all nine sessions, which will be a mix of face-to-face and online delivery. The first session will be face-to-face (subject to COVID-19 restrictions). We understand some people may like to attend half the sessions with another person in their community group attending the rest, to help share the learnings. If you would prefer a split arrangement, please submit a joint application advising of the preferred split and including the other person’s name and contact details in the application form.

How do I apply?

Applications for the 2021 program are now open. Register your Expression of Interest by Sunday 18 April 2021. Applicants will be advised whether they are successful in late April.

If you have any queries, please contact:  

Please also get in touch if you need an alternative way to apply other than using the online for.

Why are we running this program?

Our three councils have declared a climate emergency and have committed to rapid action to address the climate emergency under their respective Climate Emergency/Zero Carbon plans. A key component of these plans is to support our community members to take collective action on the climate emergency.

We recognise that the sheer scale and complexity of the climate emergency requires that we work together — that the actions of individuals, particular organisations or sectors cannot solve the climate crisis alone — and that local governments have a strong role to play in bringing people together and enabling them to be active citizens creating change.

We want to broaden the reach of our climate work, and help community members do the same. We believe that climate action is for everyone, and can take many forms.

Program goals

The goals of the program are to:

  1. Support people in working together to lead and advocate for more effective urgent, large-scale, sustained, meaningful and collective climate action.
  2. Grow a broader movement of diverse groups and individuals who are actively leading and engaged in community-focussed climate action to increase the reach of climate action in our communities.
  3. Connect people with and across existing groups and campaigns to develop a network of groups who are working together and supporting each other.

The program was developed after consultation with climate groups who are already active in our communities.

Apply for the Community Skills for Climate Action program.

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:

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. 

Webinar recording - Keep Cool, Save Money

To learn more about how you can Keep Cool and Save Money this 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.

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.

 

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.

Energy Efficiency Toolkits coming soon

From early 2021 we will have energy efficiency toolkits available for loan through our libraries. These will be free for Darebin library members, and will help you assess what changes you might need to make to make your home more efficient.

Stay Cool, Save Money Webinar