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Metro Community Power Hub

Metro Community Power Hub FAQs

What is the Metro Community Power Hub (MCPH)? 

The MCPH’s mission is to work with metropolitan communities to offer trusted and practical advice on clean energy solutions, and support, develop and deliver local, cost-effective renewable energy projects and programs.

As Victoria’s first metropolitan Community Power Hub, the MCPH is a forward-thinking network of energy practitioners, climate action groups, councils, social enterprises and community groups, businesses and local communities – all focused on accelerating Melbourne’s transition to an exciting renewable energy future.

As a high-impact “one-stop shop” for clean energy solutions and community energy initiatives, the MCPH leverages the expertise, vision and networks of its Roundtable Partners, supporters and local communities in the pursuit of a zero carbon future.

At the heart of the MCPH is a commitment to knowledge-sharing and public involvement in positive climate action which delivers tangible and equitable outcomes.

 

 

What is community energy? 

Community energy refers to projects where a community initiates, develops, operates and benefits from a renewable energy resource or energy efficiency initiative.

Community energy is a broad concept, and can include any community-driven energy project, including community-owned renewable energy, mini-grids or community scale batteries, community action on climate change, or energy efficiency and energy projects assisting renters and low-income households.

The needs, motivations, scale, legal structures, governance and financing will likely differ by project, group and location.

Thanks to http://www.energeticcommunities.org.au for this definition. 

 

 

 

How is the Metro Community Power Hub funded? 

The MCPH is funded as part of the Community Power Hubs program by the Victorian Government through Sustainability Victoria.

Comprising seven hubs across the state, the $3.73 million Community Power Hubs program is part of a $1.6 billion renewable energy package in the 2020-21 Victorian Budget.

Who are the Hub’s members and who can participate? 

The MCPH Steering Committee is made up of the following Roundtable Partners:

We welcome local councils, other metro climate groups, social enterprises, community organisations and businesses who want to get involved in this ground-breaking initiative – we’d love to hear from you.

 

 

What will be the MCPH’s main activities? 

Key activities of the Hub will include:

  • Delivering a solar PV program to communities. This program will connect interested customers with vetted suppliers and installers, offer advice on appropriate systems, arrange quotes and access to rebates where relevant, and offer discounts off up to 20% off retail prices.
  • Run initiatives with Roundtable Partners which work towards our goal of all-electric homes, including advice on how to switch from gas appliances, and procurement of commercial partners for the supply and install of hot water heat pumps, split systems and stove tops.
  • Offer Roundtable Partners training and support to run Energy Literacy workshops for their networks and the wider community;
  • Support Roundtable Partners to build greater community awareness around renewable energy options and support the development and delivery of local energy projects, such as community batteries;
  • Assist Roundtable Partners to normalise and support models of community energy through information events, digital and print communications, forums and workshops;
  • Support Roundtable Partners in scoping, developing and delivering flagship projects in their communities;
  • The MCPH will also assist with communications around the MCPH, and work with Partners within the context of their specific needs and audiences.

What is the MCPH governance structure? 

Representatives from each Roundtable Partner will meet at least once a month as a Steering Committee to discuss MCPH priorities and the status of MCPH programs and projects.

Steering Committee meetings will be facilitated by the MCPH’s lead partner organisation, the Yarra Energy Foundation (YEF).

As the lead agency, YEF must report to Sustainability Victoria (SV) on a quarterly basis and attend bi-weekly meetings with SV on the MCPH.

The Steering Committee will ensure that the ownership and development of the MCPH is shared.

 

 

What is the role of Roundtable Partners (RTPs) in the MCPH? 

Roundtable Partners are central to the Hub’s success and may be involved in a number of ways, including:

  • Distributing letterbox flyers in their areas to promote MCPH foundation programs such as solar and electric home initiatives;
  • Regularly sharing information about the MCPH and its activities with their networks and local communities;
  • Co-hosting or leading MCPH events, workshops and other community sessions with YEF;
  • Participating in training on how to run community sessions on energy bill literacy and other clean energy initiatives;
  • Sharing expertise and knowledge with other RTPs and MCPH supporters through the Steering Committee;
  • Bringing proposals for flagship projects to the MCPH and working with YEF to investigate the potential feasibility and development of these projects.

 

 

What is a foundation program? 

MCPH foundation programs will include solar PV programs for communities, electrifying-our-home initiatives, and energy literacy training and community workshops.

Information sessions, forums and other events will feature keynote speakers and Q&A sessions. Specific topics such as renewable energy options for apartment residents or those interested in the surging momentum around community batteries will also be offered as foundation programs.

What is a flagship project? 

A flagship project is any stand-alone MCPH community energy project outside the realm of foundation programs.

Examples include installing solar panels on the roof of a local Girl Guides’ hall or a group of businesses joining forces on a neighbourhood shopping strip to convert to renewable energy – the possibilities are enormous.

Roundtable Partners are encouraged to bring their ideas for possible flagship projects to the MCPH Steering Committee.

Working with its vetted supplier partners, YEF can accelerate feasibility and scoping work, offer its many years of expertise and, where possible, fast-track relevant processes.

 

 

Who is the Yarra Energy Foundation? 

The Yarra Energy Foundation (YEF) was set up as a not-for-profit in 2010 by Yarra City Council.

With a team of highly-experienced energy experts, YEF’s mission is to reduce carbon emissions from energy to zero. To get there, YEF helps businesses and residents with services and independent advice to make better energy choices. YEF also partners with local councils across Australia to fast-track the nation’s transition to cleaner energy.

To date YEF has:

  • Installed more than 18,000 rooftop solar panels on homes and businesses across the City of Yarra;
  • Arranged the install of around 3MW of solar across more than 1,250 homes and businesses across Victoria;
  • Advised more than 13,000 residents and businesses, over the phone and online, on better energy choices;
  • Assisted more than 1,000 low-income and culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) residents to retrofit their homes for better energy;
  • Supported more than 50 businesses and schools in switching to LED lights and rooftop solar;
  • Presented at more than 100 information sessions, workshops, forums and events focused on accelerating the move to better energy. That includes solar and battery conversations, billing and energy efficiency information, and the state of the energy market.

What is YEF’s role in the MCPH? 

YEF was selected as the lead partner organisation for the MCPH and has been awarded funding for a 12-month period by Sustainability Victoria on behalf of the Victorian Government.

As a not-for-profit with a proven track record, YEF brings to the Hub its highly-regarded energy industry expertise and extensive experience in providing trusted and independent advice on innovative and cost-effective energy solutions.

YEF will deliver foundation programs through the MCPH for all Roundtable Partners, as well as providing tailored assistance to flagship projects.

It will also work with each Partner to identify marginal and CALD communities and leverage resources and strategic partnerships to help effectively engage with these communities.

How are preferred suppliers and installers for MCPH projects chosen? 

YEF has more than a decade’s experience in running rigorous procurement processes for installers and suppliers of solar and other products and services.

All suppliers and installers must satisfy YEF’s extensive EOI requirements, and are selected on criteria including strong customer service, high-quality products and competitive prices.

How do we get involved? 

The Metro Community Power Hub welcomes input from anyone who’s passionate about community energy and positive action.

Contact us at information@yef.org.au

You can download a copy of these FAQs here: Metro Community Power Hub FAQs