Riddells Creek Sustainability Newsletter

23 June 2008

Frequently Asked Questions from people registering for solar electricity.

Filed under: Solar Panel Project,Sustainability — Julie @ 4:57 pm

To register, go to www.rezeko.com

To Login –  use your email address and make up, and remember a password. 

Be patient, it takes a while to load.

Applications must be completed before July 5th.

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Only post page 2 and 6 of the government rebate form with your licence copy and bill copy to PO Box 4222, Black Rock North 3193.

Don’t forget to let us know you are applying, put yourself on the map.

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Macedon, Mt Macedon and Clarkefield are within the 10 kilometre boundary.  Use the  Distance Lookup Map to check your distance from Riddell PO.

11 June 2008

Solar Neighbourhood Launched

Filed under: Solar Panel Project — Lyn H. @ 8:45 pm

Riddells Creek Solar Neighbourhood was launched on Thursday June 5 at a public meeting and you will be able to apply on line from June 16 until July 5th.

Lyn, Julie, Russell and an electrician went to see the solar installations in Black Rock and Sandringham. It was inspiring to see so many going up in one street. We saw the warehouse full of panels, inverters and roof-mounting equipment. Photos and more information about our expedition were presented at the community meeting.

For Riddells Creek, people need to decide how to source the $8000 (and later get it back via the rebate once the panels are fully operational on your roof; max 6 months from date of PV rebate approval). There are many ways to source the $8000 including personal savings, a bank loan (some banks do green loans at slightly reduced rates). The Sunbury Bendigo Bank will halve the application fee. Their unsecured loan rate is 12.89% and their secured loan rate (against a house for example) is 9.5%. The latter would add about $455 to the cost of the system depending on the length of the loan. The former would add about $590 to the cost of the system. We recommend approaching your own bank to see if they can better these rates. A few households have dropped out since the Federal budget decision to means test the rebate for households earning less than $100,000. We have well over 25 households going ahead with pre-inspection quotes.

The total cost of the system will be $1499, plus the $8000 ($9499). This includes the panels, an inverter, a new meter, all fully installed, checked and compliant with Australian Standards.

House installations must be in a 10km radius from Riddells Creek Post Office. If you are not sure you are within this distance, visit this page and type in your address: Distance Lookup Map

If you type in “Macedon” or “Romsey” or “New Gisborne” it will tell you how far the township is from the Riddells Creek PO. Or put in your address (eg. 1 Main Road, Riddells Creek). Or zoom in or out and move the blob around ( if it puts your house in the wrong place or if Google maps don’t know your street) the distance will update. If townships are marginal they will be included but we need to draw the line at townships that are clearly beyond the 10 km. Small communities outside 10km don’t despair. Rezeko (the company name for the Victorian arm of Beyond Building) has set new costs to allow smaller clusters to get together, see below.

Because we are a ‘pre-Federal budget’ group, we are allowed to go ahead at $8,895 even if we get only 25 houses within 10km of Riddells Creek.

The first step in the process is to enter your details at the Rezeko website www.rezeko.com     The website operates from  June 16 until July 5th.

Now the website is ready you are able to register under the RIDDELLS CREEK SOLAR NEIGHBOURHOOD.   You are able to apply on-line. Rezeko will then send you a welcome letter with the Government’s PV rebate application form. To save time, the Rezeko welcome letter and the 1KW Government PV Rebate form are posted below.


If you want to install a bigger system, make sure you fill in the form that is for a 2KW PV Rebate. The cost is an extra $8000 for every extra kilowatt above 1KW. The $8000 rebate applies only to the first 1KW; ie. a 2KW system costs $17,499 minus the rebate.

If you are intending to go ahead as part of the Riddells Creek Solar Neighbourhood please let us know. We’d like to set up a separate Google map showing the location of the Solar Neighbourhood participants, so that we can schedule pre-installation inspections as efficiently as possible. To do this, we need you to email us your street address to rjb@hotkey.net.au or phone Julie on 54287623.

click here to download the files

  1. Welcome from Rezeko – includes full details of the timing of the installation process. The main change is that the $8000 is only now paid after the Government has accepted your application. Also no money is paid until the pre-inspection is completed. After the pre-inspection you will be given a quote on the final price – this will be $1499 for most but some households may have extra costs, such as the meter box, roof pitch, or three phase, etc. You then accept or reject the offer.
  2. Government rebate application form for a 1kW system.
  3. Government rebate application form for a 2kW system.
  4. Price list for pods, clusters and mini-neighbourhoods outside of the Riddells Creek 10km limit and solar schools price list. We recommend you encourage your schools to participate in the discussion about utilising the special rebate available for schools.
  5. The revised solar calculator – it now has an estimate of the effect of the State Government’s miserly/pathetic feed-in tariffs (which will be introduced in January 2009).

To summarise:

  • The system and basic installation will cost $1499.
  • You will save about $300 p/a (because of less electricity taken from the grid).
  • It will take about 5 years to recover the cost of the installation.
  • The benefits for the Planet and future generations are considerable.

Note that in this period it is possible that the price of electricity will increase and politicians will eventually do the right thing re tariffs so the benefits will increase over time. We will call a public meeting at the installation phase.

Cheers, congratulations and good luck with the next stages.
Russell, Lyn and Julie

6 June 2008

Solar Neighbourhood Meeting 5th June Photos

Filed under: Solar Panel Project — Reilly @ 2:11 pm

5 June 2008


Filed under: Events,Sustainability — Lyn H. @ 1:08 pm

A meeting has been called to discuss the solar neighbourhood project on Thursday June 5th at 7:30 at the Senior Citizens Hall. Hope to see you there!

2 June 2008

Strengthening Victoria’s new solar laws

Filed under: Solar Panel Project,Sustainability — Lyn H. @ 9:28 pm

See below some information you may wish to consider for your letter to Peter Batchelor and John Brumby.  Its not too late – send the letter this week!

Suggested legislative amendments to the Brumby Government’s solar legislation
On Monday May 5th 2008 the Brumby Government released some details of its much anticipated solar feed-in tariff. The announcement was met with extreme disappointment by the 40-odd community groups, businesses, unions and councils that had been campaigning for and supporting effective solar laws (i). If the Government’s proposed solar laws pass through Parliament they will do little to support solar power, solar industry development and greenhouse gas emissions reduction. There is still an opportunity to salvage the solar laws as they pass through Parliament, so that we can develop a thriving solar industry in Victoria. The importance of making the Brumby Government’s solar laws meaningful for industry is now even more critical given the Federal Government’s imposition of a means test to the solar rebate programme, effectively excluding households that earn over $100,000 annually from eligibility to the rebate of $8000. We are calling on all politicians in both houses of Parliament to work within their parties to make the following amendments to Premier Brumby’s proposed solar feed-in tariff. 

1. Make the 60c KWh tariff payable on gross, not just net generation
The Victorian Government has shunned the experience of over 40 nations with feed-in tariffs and has decided only to pay the tariff only when household generation of solar power exceeds household energy use, and electricity is therefore fed back into the grid. To be an effective driver for investment in solar power the legislation should be amended to pay the 60c KWh tariff on ALL electricity generation from a solar system for a rolling 15 year period. 

2. Increase the system size limit for the 60c KWh tariff to 10 KW and allow businesses and community organisations to participate. Introduce a 48c KWh tariff for systems between 10 KW and 100 KW
The Brumby Government’s model excludes any solar systems of 2 KW and above. This will effectively deter households from installing larger systems – surely a perverse incentive for a scheme that is supposed to encourage solar power. The Brumby Government’s model also excludes business, local government and community organisations like churches from participating. This restriction should be removed to encourage all sectors to invest in renewable energy. 

3. Ensure low income households are not negatively impacted by the scheme by exempting concession card holders
While the Brumby Government claimed it introduced a weak model in order to protect low income households, there is no such protection in the Government’s model. Advocates for an effective feed-in tariff would like to see concession card holders exempted from any electricity price rises to ensure that low income households are not unfairly hit by the cost of this or other measures. While much has been made of electricity price rises the German Environment Ministry has found that the German gross feed-in tariff did not actually lead to electricity price rises (ii). An effective feed-in tariff in Victoria would prevent the need to build expensive peaking plant and contribute energy to the grid on hot sunny days when electricity prices are highest, reducing and potentially eliminating any electricity price rises associated with the introduction of a feed-in tariff. 

4. Allow other renewable micro-generation technologies to participate in the feed-in tariff
Farming groups have expressed an interest in installing micro wind-turbines (with blades 1-2 metres in diameter) and participating in the scheme. The scheme should be expanded to allow other renewable micro-generation technologies to participate.

Additional measure
Separate to the legislation the Victorian Government should establish an industry development fund to fast-track and extend training for workers to participate in the emerging industry that will follow the introduction of an effective Feed-in tariff. For further information: Environment Victoria Campaigns Director Mark Wakeham 0439 700 501 ATA Energy Policy Manager Brad Shone 0432 251 456 Moreland Energy Foundation CEO Paul Murfitt 0401 990 273 ETU State Secretary Dean Mighell 0418 354 362
ii Renewable Energy Sources Act – Progress Report 2007

i The following organizations have expressed their support for a gross metering solar feed-in tariff that protects low income households: Victorian Farmer’s Federation, Brotherhood of St Laurence, Environment Victoria, Moreland Energy Foundation, Municipal Association of Victoria, Royal Australian Institute of Architects, Szencorp Pty Ltd, Going Solar, The Environment Shop, Alternative Technology Association, Victorian Local Governance Association, Clean Energy Council, Construction Queen, WestWyck Pty Ltd, BP Solar, Carbon Market Economics, Climate Group, Solco, Sustainable Solutions P/L, RFI, Sharp (Solar Panel Manufacturer), Northern Alliance for Greenhouse Action, Environment Defenders Office (EDO), Greenpeace, Australian Conservation Foundation, Carbon Equity, Mt Alexander Sustainability Group, Electrical Trades Union, Lighter Footprints, Greenleap Strategic Institute, Friends of the Earth, Murrindindi Climate Network, Nillumbik Climate Action Now, Albury-Wodonga Environment Health, Albury Wodonga Towards Climate Health, (WATCH), Border Eco-Living Program, Yarra Climate Action Now, National Toxics Network, Australian Youth Climate Coalition, C4 Healesville

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