If laid end to end, solar panels installed through the Yarra Energy Foundation as part of its mission to cut energy carbon emissions in Yarra to zero, would stretch to over 25 kilometres. It’s an achievement the foundation’s chair, Jennifer Lauber Patterson, singled out as one of her proudest, as she announced she would be stepping down after a decade of work with the organisation.
“During my four-year term as chair, with an organisation of three staff, we’ve engaged more than 35,000 people, installed 15,700 solar panels (3,952 kW), replaced over 16,500 globes with LED lights, delivered hundreds of energy efficiency home retrofits, donated 144 solar panels (36kW) to community organisations, worked with 12 schools, and solar powered over 50 businesses, including a massive 99kW solar array on Collingwood’s Stomping Ground Brewery,” said Ms Lauber Patterson.
“We’ve worked really hard alongside Yarra City Council, and with our residents and businesses, to tackle climate change head-on – focusing on real impact, through innovative services that people in the community need to help them take action.
“And we’re getting results: delivering the deep cuts to emissions from electricity and gas that we need to meet our ambitious target of zero energy emissions in Yarra by 2030,” she said.
Mayor of the City of Yarra, Cr Danae Bosler, said she was proud of the Foundation’s achievements and thanked the chair for her efforts and commitment in creating this powerful impact.
“We know we have a climate emergency on our hands. We also know people need assistance to take action: whether it’s helping households to go solar through bulk-buys, supporting rebate applications, providing advice on lowering energy usage, or helping small businesses to source low-cost finance for energy improvements.
“The City of Yarra created the Yarra Energy Foundation to work with everyone in our community to cut carbon emissions from energy use and make sure no one is left behind,” Cr Bosler said.
Lauber Patterson has been a part of the foundation since its beginnings in 2009, as a board director, acting CEO, and for four years steering the organisation as its chair.
Her departure paves the way for a new chair to lead the Board and CEO, to provide a strong public voice and build new relationships for the organisation so it can continue its ground-breaking work towards zero energy emissions in Yarra.
Yarra Energy Foundation CEO, Dean Kline, said Lauber Patterson had been a great leader for the foundation.
“We are incredibly thankful to Jennifer for her tireless contribution to the organisation, her passion, her commercial acumen, her technical sustainability skills, and her unrelenting commitment,” said Mr Kline.