Riddells Creek Sustainability Newsletter

12 January 2009

Riddells Creek 2 Solar Neighbourhood

Filed under: Sustainability — Lyn H. @ 4:44 pm

If you heard about the Solar Neighbourhood and thought you missed out, then here’s some good news!

Due to interest we have launched Riddells Creek 2 Solar Neighbourhood with Rezeko.

The offer is a 1kW system for $9,895, with a government rebate of $8000 if your household income for this financial year is less than $100,000.

The government rebate of $8000 will not be available after July1, 2009.  To see the changes after July 1, see the government website,  http://www.environment.gov.au/settlements/renewable/index.html  and go to Solar homes and Communities.

As the process of getting your approval for the rebate can be lengthy, you need to act now.

 To participate, go to www.rezeko.com and sign up.  You will receive an email almost immediately confirming your log in and password.  

You use these to log in and enter your property details.  

This is an expression of interest only.  A solar installer visits your property and provides you with a written quote.

If you have further questions, email your neighbourhood coordinator Julie, cdlc@hotkey.net.au


Looking forward to hearing from you,



22 December 2008

The Federal Government’s new solar scheme.

Filed under: Sustainability — Lyn H. @ 7:51 pm

If you are like us, wondering what the new solar scheme will do for the renewables industry, read the article – Federal Government’s new solar credit scheme reduces renewables incentives on the Alternative Technology Association’s website – www.ata.org.au

The installation of solar panels in Riddells Creek will resume after the holiday break in mid January, and the electrical inspector will resume work about this time as well to inspect the last round of installations.

17 November 2008

Vote for Sustainability

Filed under: Local Council Elections — Lyn H. @ 8:39 pm

Local Government Elections 2008


The following questionnaire was sent to all prospective East Ward candidates.



I believe that climate change is a real and serious threat to our environment, our economy and our society. I believe that all levels of government, business and the community must take urgent action to immediately reduce emissions and help stop dangerous climate change.

Agree  Disagree

If elected, I commit to playing my role in ensuring Macedon Ranges Shire Council –

1. Understands and promotes to residents and businesses the likely local

impacts and consequences of, and solutions to climate change for the Macedon Ranges.

Agree  Disagree

2. Support local climate action groups and active citizens to engage local

residents and businesses to take action against climate change.

Agree Disagree

3. Host or support community purchasing programs for bulk buying of energy

efficiency or renewable energy products eg. Solar panels and solar water heaters.

Agree  Disagree

4. Supports lobbying of State and Federal Governments to:

a. Increase and improve their policy responses to climate change in

order to urgently reduce greenhouse gas emissions

b. Extend their funding of education on the causes of climate change

and the local, national and global impacts of climate change for

local communities.

Agree  Disagree

5. Develop a Sustainable Transport Plan to help the local

community reduce their emissions from transport and cope with climate

change.  The plan could include community bike pools, bike paths and bike parking and a targeted community bus scheme.

Agree  Disagree

6. Improve local community access to sustainable transport options with

funding from all levels of Government.

Agree  Disagree

7. Promote and support local community renewable energy schemes (eg

wind, solar).

Agree  Disagree


8. Achieve zero net emissions from Local Government buildings by 2020

Agree  Disagree

9. Require Local Government operations (eg parks and gardens, cleaning,

and whether internal or by tender) to identify climate change mitigation

measures and targets by 2012.

Agree  Disagree


10. Develop and implement a carbon neutral plan for Macedon Ranges Shire Council and their operations to achieve carbon neutrality by 2020.

Agree  Disagree

11. Develop and implement a carbon neutral plan for our local community to

achieve carbon neutrality by 2020.

Agree  Disagree

12. A solar right is an unobstructed line of sight path from a solar collector to the sun.  Local planning laws should protect our solar rights.

Agree  Disagree

13. If elected, will you use the existing clauses in the planning code to create sustainable buildings and sustainable development?  And will you strengthen the laws to make them more enforceable?

Agree Disagree

14. The orientation of buildings, planting native plants and water harvesting are essential for sustainable planning.  Will you support the Council using financial incentives, such as a rate discount, to achieve sustainable planning approvals for new developments?

Agree Disagree

15. New developments should be as self-sufficient in water as possible. Rain water tanks should be compulsory in all new residential, commercial and industrial developments.

Agree Disagree

16. Please list the following from 1 to 5 in order of how you see it as a priority when making council decisions:

  • Financial viability.
  • Environmental impact
  • The views of affected residents
  • Expanding regional economic growth
  • Future sustainability

17. Any further (brief) comments


Following are the responses we have received to date 17/11/08 (6 so far).  As the replies come in, we will add them to the website.


Hilary Roberts agrees with all statements except No 4, 8, 9, 10 and 11.

He comments- Whilst I applaud the intentions and directions of your survey, a number of the questions are impossible to answer due to lack of definitive data.  I am not prepared to agree with something just because it sounds good and I am not prepared to commit to changing things or delivering things over which I have no direct responsibility or authority to deliver.  There needs to be measurable sustainable evidence provided to enable a considered answer to be given, for example, I have no idea whether it is possible for MR to be carbon neutral by 2020.

  For number 16 he lists the following from 1 to 5 in order of how he sees it as a priority when making council decisions:


1 Environmental impact

2 The views of affected residents

3 Future sustainability

4 Financial viability.

5 Expanding regional economic growth



Hugh Tighe created a new response and wrote strongly agree to all questions.  He lists the following from 1 to 5 in order of how he sees it as a priority when making council decisions:

1 Environmental impact

2  Future sustainability

3 The views of affected residents

4 Financial viability

5 Expanding regional economic growth

He comments-
 If elected I would encourage the participation of groups such as the RCSG (
Riddells Creek Sustainability Group)with council climate policy initiatives, develop partnerships and policy frameworks, publish a sustainability policy for the Shire with website and voting facility to measure the level of support for sustainability policy proposals .


Geoff Neil wrote –  I do support some of the statements, especially solar neighborhoods and watertanks and, being honest, there are statements here that I do not understand and have no idea what impact they would have on Council operations if introduced (or the community if not).   I think if re-elected my actions will ‘speak louder’ than responding per statement in the questionaire.   It is very easy to mark them all ‘agree’ in an effort to seek a particular outcome.   I cannot do this.


Graham Hackett agreed to all the statements.


Eric Nothard agreed with all the statements, and listed the order of priorities as

1. Future sustainability

2.The views of affected residents

3.Environmental impact

4.Financial viability.

5. Expanding regional economic growth

He comments- Keep up the good work


Joe Morabito declined to answer the questions, but rang to say that most governments are just talking, we need action.  And he said to see his election flyers.


12 November 2008

Farmer’s Market – Saturday November 15

Filed under: Farmers Market — Lyn H. @ 7:58 pm

Next Farmers Market  9am to 1pm, Saturday November 15 at the Riddells Creek Primary School.

Its Happening!

Filed under: Solar Panel Project — Lyn H. @ 3:53 pm

Great news! Our first solar power panels were installed on the 11/11/08. The excited participant still has to wait for the meter box to be made compliant and the final inspection before they can be used but after all this time and effort it is great to know they are on a Riddell roof.  There are almost 60 households still in our neighbourhood.  It is very encouraging to see this many people going ahead with the project.

We look forward to the roll out continuing in the next few months.

Julie and Lyn.

5 November 2008


Filed under: Events — Lyn H. @ 9:15 pm

for renewable energy and a safe climate future
On November 15, 2008, thousands of Australians will walk together with their families, their workmates and their communities for renewable energy and a safe climate future for our children. Walk Against Warming is an urgent demand for real action on climate change and justice for developing nations affected by global warming.
Info: Environment Victoria 03 9341 8112,   or www.envict.org.au

A Riddells Creek contingent will leave on the train at 11:36am with the Riddells Creek Sustainability banner.

Come and join us….see you at the train station….

SATURDAY, 15 NOVEMBER, 2008 @ 1.00PM


15 October 2008

Melbourne Save Water, Save Energy Expo

Filed under: Sustainability — Reilly @ 8:06 pm

Friday 17th – Sunday 19th October


14 October 2008

Solar Panel price rise

Filed under: Solar Panel Project — Lyn H. @ 10:03 pm

A message to Solar Neighbourhood participants,

We wish to advise you about a price rise that will affect every Solar Neighbourhood due to the fall in the value of the Australian dollar to the Euro.

This means that the panels from Conergy are going to be more expensive. By the end of this week you will receive an email from Rezeko outlining the price rise.

At present other organisations (for example Ballarat Breaze) have increased their price by about
$1000 a kw. Erik at Rezeko has indicated that his increase will be between $600-700 per kw, payable after installation. For a standard installation this is still the lowest price per kw system.

Any money paid so far is fully refundable if you decide not to proceed.

The great news is that four installers have been lined up to install the Riddells Creek Solar Neighbourhood and we anticipate installations before Christmas.

Julie, Lyn & Russell

29 September 2008

Information from the Riddells Creek Solar Neighbourhood Meeting 25/9/08

Filed under: Sustainability — Lyn H. @ 9:37 pm
Hi Riddells Creek Solar Neighbourhood,

Fantastic to see/meet so many of you at the meeting on Thursday 25/9/08.

The following is information from the meeting and some information to help you sort out which electricity provider to select.

The 1kW system will be comprised of 7 Conergy 145 w monocrystalline panels and a Sunny Boy inverter.

Process to date – most people either have their rebate pre-approval from DEWHA or should get it in the mail next week.  Erik informed us that he received an email today confirming approval for many of the people still awaiting their letter.

Once you get your letter of approval and accept the quote, you need to either post a cheque for the $8,000 payable to Rezeko Pty Ltd or $8,895 if you haven’t already paid the $895.

Or you can make a direct deposit.  You must include either your name or your customer id from your quote so that Rezeko can identify your transaction

Bank: ANZ
BSB: 013006
Account Number: 488549119
Account Name: Rezeko Pty Ltd

Please post a copy of your receipt to –

PO Box
Black Rock VIC 3193.

The next step –

Please send to Rezeko your 11 digit NMI code which you will find on the back of your electricity bill.  This National Meter Information code is required by Powercor so that they know that you have installed a solar power system.

There will be two groups of installations depending on when your rebate is approved, and your $8895 is paid.

The cut off for the first group is October 5th, the second group will be mid November.

The target for installations for Group 1 is at the beginning of November.  You will be notified of a target installation week, followed by a target day.

After the panel and inverter installation there is an independent inspection for your certificate of Electrical Safety.  Once this is issued, the form for the rebate can be completed.  It currently takes 6 weeks for the rebate to be received.

The installer puts in an Electrical Works Request to change the meter.

Erik congratulated us on Riddells Creek currently being the third largest neighbourhood in Victoria.

See below comparative electricity retailer costs.


28 September 2008

Meeting – 25th Septermber 2008

Filed under: Solar Panel Project — Reilly @ 10:45 pm

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