Renewable Energy Benalla

Renewable Energy Benalla (REB), an action group of Benalla Sustainable Future Group (BSFG), was established following a successful community forum held in October 2016 about a renewable energy future for Benalla.


Renewable Energy Benalla (REB), an action group of Benalla Sustainable Future Group (BSFG), was established following a successful community forum held in October 2016 about a renewable energy future for Benalla. The vision of a 100% renewable energy future was affirmed in the BSFG Review 2022, with the action group focus ‘100% renewable and community based energy’ identified in the review relating to the ongoing work of REB. Our Vision? For Benalla to become a zero net energy town by 2028 by reducing and balancing energy demand with 100% renewable energy supply. In 2017, Beyond Zero Emissions, a national think tank focussed on reducing emissions to zero, offered to help REB to develop a 10-year transition strategy to 100% renewables. BZE supported us by
• Developing a baseline of emissions across energy consumption and buildings
• Running two community engagement workshops, one of which will focus on businesses
• Producing reports for potential for renewable technologies in the region.

The Benalla Stationary Energy Transition Strategy was launched at another community forum in November 2017 and REB’s goal became 100% renewable stationary energy by 2028. The Transition Strategy details three major steps to achieve 100% renewables. Renewable Energy Benalla is working in collaboration with the community and relevant organisations to achieve the following objectives:
• Promote energy efficiency and reduce energy use within the community
• Create awareness, promotion and support for renewable energy by the community
• Contribute to planning for Benalla to transition to zero net energy
• Achieve a significant increase in local renewable energy generation
• Keep increased financial benefits locally

Since 2018, REB has
• Conducted energy efficiency sessions aimed at improving the thermal performance of existing houses and reducing energy demand and energy bills.
• Investigated the possibility of establishing a utility scale waste to energy project in Benalla.
• Developed a set of pamphlets about:
• Energy Efficiency at Home
• Keeping Rental Houses Comfortable and Energy Efficient
• Installing Solar PV and Batteries
• Developed and strengthened a communications strategy which incorporates media releases and subsequent articles in the Benalla Ensign and items in local television; this website and social media presence on Facebook and Instagram.
• Partnered with BZE to conduct the regional launch of BZE’s ‘Electrifying Industry’ report
• Established the Benalla Community Energy Project which utilises a donation-based Community Energy Fund to make loans to community buildings to fund installation of solar panels or energy efficiency works. Loan repayments are based on savings on energy bills.
• Established a fund raising capacity for future projects, using the Raisely crowd funding platform.
• Obtained a $5000 grant from the Winton Solar Farm Community Benefit program which enabled us to undertake our first Community Energy Project in April 2021 of installing panels on the Munro Avenue Pre-school without the need to conduct a fund raising program.
• Launched the Munro Avenue Pre-school solar panel installation in May 2021.
• Obtained another grant of $5000 from Winton Solar Farm which together with significant contributions from others, including some loan repayments from Munro Ave, enabled us to fund the installation of panels, at Bernard Briggs, without the need for fund raising.
• Launched the Bernard Briggs Pre-school solar panel installation in February 2022​
• REB had a meeting in early July 2022 to try to identify potential community organisations which might benefit from solar installations with similar loan/repayment schemes to that already in place for the 2 kindergartens. Benalla Men’s Shed was one possible organisation, so a meeting was held on Wednesday 27th July at the Men’s Shed, in order to try to ascertain their power usage (and pattern of power usage) and determine the feasibility of a project there. Discussions are continuing – for more information, read Peter Holmes’ July Report to the BSFG General Meeting.

Note: This descriptive text was copied from the Group's website. Some website links may no longer be active.

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