Monday, December 31, 2007


An intersection of Music and Climate Change is how GreenBase describes itself.

A cool little blog that has it's share of techno-gadgety-stuff, i recently spotted an article on the solar table.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Green Light for LED

You may have noticed that when a new set of traffic lights goes up, it's made of lots of little LED lights. Apart from being longer-lasting, they are also much more energy efficient.

Well in Taiwan they don't muck about. They've announced that within 3 years they'll have changed over every traffic light in the country. They'll save 85% in power consumption - which is a significant saving with almost 800,000 traffic lights. After that's done, street lights are next on the agenda.

To quote from the full article ... Nations of the world, the gauntlet has been thrown down.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Sustainable Insight

Sustainable Insight is an online store with books dvds etc about a range of sustainability topics including climate change. In the November edition of their newsletter, they gave Convenient Solutions a wrap. Thanks guys ;)

While i generally prefer to borrow books from the library, if you're looking for somewhere that specialises in climate change and sustainability, they might be worth a look.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Go Queensland!

The Greenpower figures are out for the third quarter of 2007, and the greatest increase in number of new greenpower customers was from Queensland.

The total number of greenpower customers has now gone well over 600,000.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Climate Change Begins At Home

One thing the British have going for them is their witty writing. Dave Reay is no exception. His book "Climate Change Begins At Home" is, so far, the only book about global warming that has actually made me laugh out loud.

Avoiding the graphs and tables usually loved by scientists, he provides information by telling stories and anecdotes. Some real. Some not. But they illustrate how our actions and choices can make a difference.

Overall, i thoroughly recommed it - both as an information source - and a good read.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Ryan Report

Regular readers will remember when i wrote to the candidates for my local seat of Ryan. I received replies from each of the candidates. Also, i attended the Ryan Candidates Forum on Climate Change, and spoke with two of the candidates individually.

As it stands my assessment (as far as climate change goes) is as follows. 1 - Evan Jones, 2- Charles Worringham, 3 - Ross Daniels, 4- Michael Johnson (who didn't even attend the forum).

Since i wrote my email, more candidates have nominated, but i don't really know enough about these candidates (and their views on climate change) to issue a firm rating. Jim Page attended the Climate Change Forum and i would definitely rate him higher than Michael Johnson (who didn't) but i'm not sure exactly where. Probably between 2 and 3. Maybe.

Again, this is not an overall assessment - it only covers climate change.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Low Carbon Life

Author Chris Goodall believes that it is up to individuals to take the lead in tackling climate change. He believes that government and business will only act once they see the opportunity for votes or marketshare - and that this only occurs once individuals are committed.

The bulk of his book is then an analysis of various ways of reducing our personal (and indirect) carbon emissions - though it is based on British situations. This section had two main points of interest.

He mentions how the city of London has pro-actively encouraged the ownership of environmentally friendly vehicles (such as hybrid and electric vehicles) by exempting them from the CBD congestion tax.

Also, a whole chapter is dedicated to solar hot water. The fact that solar hot water is viable, even in the England, shows how strange it is that Australia (especially Queensland) makes such little use of this.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Solar Town

The country Queensland town of Cloncurry is about to be powered by solar power - day and night. Despite the myths, solar power can produce electricity for night-time use, and within two years the solarthermal plant will provide Cloncurry with all its power needs.

Cloncurry, like many places in Australia, has a reputation for sunny days and hot weather, making it ideal for solar power.

"These are plants that are going to be built and operating within a couple of years," said John Connor (Climate Institute). "When we are looking at other alternatives and nuclear and other things, they're a decade or so away so here is renewable technology. It's on the shelf and now it's being put on the ground so it is a fantastic development."

Friday, October 12, 2007

Good News Bill

Yep, another electricity bill. Apart from the feelgood factor of funding renewable power through Greenpower, there was another surprise.

Regular readers will know of my fascination for doing maths. So i decided to dig out a bill from two years ago. My power usage has actually decreased quite significantly.

I calculated that if i still used the same amount of electricity as two years ago, my bill would have been $37.56 greater. So even after contributing to greenpower, I still come out in front.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Bright Future for Solar

Among depressing future climate forecasts, and reports of slow-moving governments, it's refreshing to see a good news story.

Solar expert David Mills, and his company Ausra, are making huge breakthroughs in electricity generation, resulting in two US companies announcing a multi-billion dollar expansion of solar power supply.

It seems that both the energy companies, and Dr Mills are confident that it can provide the majority of electricity needs. [full report]

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Blue Bag - Green Talk

Recently i scored a climate change freebie - a re-usable shopping bag from the people behind the Change Climate Change campaign.

Tonight at the grocery store i handed the bag to the cashier. He commented "so i guess you walked here tonight". I confirmed this (but forgot to mention that i am going car-free) and he said that it was great i was reducing my carbon footprint. I agreed, and asked what Coles was doing about reducing theirs.

He didn't know, but agreed they should probably do something - given all the trucks travelling around the place. One of the things companies can do is use greenpower. I checked up on the List of Companies that use Greenpower and Coles was not listed. Booo!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Tell the PM

A recent study showed that 90% of Australians believe Australia should produce 25 per cent of our electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

Not surprising, considering it would deliver 16,600 jobs and $33 billion in new investment - as well as helping save the planet.

If you are one of the 90%, why not email the Prime Minister and/or the Opposition Leader, and encourage them to get on with this. The ACF have even set up a template email that you can copy. Or you could write your own, if you're feeling creative.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Forgive Us Our Eco-Sins

Recently at a Greenpeace fair, a British priest heard "eco-confessions" in a bid to raise awareness of the need for an examination of conscience on environmental issues.

Donned in green robes, Fr Anthony Sutch said "It is not blasphemous, it is not joking about the Catholic church and sacramental confession. It will be serious about how we live and the effect of how we live."

"The Catholic church is very concerned about green issues. It comes from scripture that we should care for our planet. We are becoming more and more aware of the damage we are doing."

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

90% In Favour

In a survey done by Newspoll, 9 out of 10 Australians agreed Australia should “aim to produce 25 per cent of our electricity from renewable sources by 2020”.

“Australians want to green-up our energy. With a federal election looming it’s now up to the major Australian political parties to show they are committed to a strong mandatory renewable energy target.” (Don Henry, ACF)

A report by ACF, Greenpeace and the Climate Action Network, A Bright Future, found a 25 per cent renewable energy target along with energy efficiency measures would generate $33 billion in new investment and deliver 16,600 new jobs – many of them in rural and regional Australia.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

APEC targets

OK, so we all know that the APEC meeting is on this week. With the leaders of the Asia Pacific Nations gathered together, one of the topics for discussion is climate change.

While the probable outcome is some airy-fairy consensus of "let's try to reduce greenhouse gases", it would be better to actually make a firm resolution of how much reduction and how soon this would be.

So our friends at have launched a petition that will be given to the APEC conference on Friday.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Mayor Greg?

While a lot of focus is on the upcoming federal election, here in Brisbane there will also be a Council election early next year. In preparation for this, one of the candidates for Lord Mayor, Greg Rowell, has been sending out leaflets of what he is about.

Fortunately, he has also included a feedback form for us voters to tell him what is important to us. Obviously i filled it in, indicating i thought climate change was the number one issue, followed by public transport.

I'd encourage you to do the same if you get one in your mailbox. Alternatively, you can respond online at

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Car Share

Have you ever thought of getting rid of your car? Saving thousands in insurance, rego, petrol and servicing - to say nothing of greenhouse gases. The trick is that there's the occassional trip where a car would be really handy. This is where carshare can be really handy.

Carshare company Gwhiz started up earlier this year. They are just starting out, but there are already 3 cars available for use. You can register an interest via the website, and when there's enough people in a suburb, Gwhiz puts a car there.

There is a small membership fee, and then an hourly charge for usage. But if you only need a car now and then, it works out cheaper than maintaining your own car. You can check it out at

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Who On Earth Cares?

Actually, lots of people do. On Monday, the ACF and actor Cate Blanchett launched the latest initiative in the campaign against climate change - Who On Earth Cares.

Speaking from the appropriate location of Brisbane's drought-affected Lake Samsonvale, she stated that "I think that the majority of Australians are beginning to realise that we can't hope to address the very real issues of water shortages and drought unless we significantly reduce Australia's spiralling greenhouse emissions"

"Climate change is an issue that affects each and every one of us, and therefore it's up to each and every one of us to act responsibly and do something about it."

On the Who On Earth Cares website, visitors can make pledges to reduce their own greenhouse emissions, and can also contact their political representative to take action.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Clean Energy Bill

This past weekend, the government has passed a 'clean energy bill' which means that by 2020, 15% of US energy would come from renewable resources.

Whilst this is not a huge amount, it is an improvement on the current portion of about 6%, and (it must be said) is also better than Australia's current percentage.

Interestingly, officials say that this emphasis on renewable energy, will save consumers billions of dollars (contrary to what you may hear the current Australian government say). [more info]

Monday, August 06, 2007

Rock Power

Last week, GeoDynamics commissioned a new drilling rig and is about to start work on a new geothermal well. Geodynamics chairman Martin Albrecht said "Habanero 3 may turn out to be one of the most important on-shore wells ever drilled in this country"

HFR geothermal energy will work in theory by drilling wells 4-5km into hot granites, circulating water through them and turning the heat energy which returns to the surface to electricity.

This would provide the proof of concept needed to develop a 40 megawatt power plant delivering power into the national electricity grid by the end of 2010. [more info]

Friday, August 03, 2007

Candidates Debate

In view of the coming federal election, today i wrote a letter to all the candidates (that i know of) for my local seat of Ryan.

I asked each of the candidates to outline their commitment and strategies for tackling climate change. I shall publish the responses as i receive them.

If you wish to view the letter i sent (and maybe even send a similar letter to the candidates for your seat) click on the "comments" link below.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Reading The Stars

Whilst in a mathematical mood, i noticed the energy rating sticker on my fridge. According to the the sticker, my fridge uses 550 kWh per year. At the current electricity price, this is about $85 per year.

Now my fridge is fairly old, so i had a look at what is currently available. The fridge below is a shade larger than mine and half a "star" more efficient - and uses just 349 kWh per year ($54)

So what have i learnt? Energy rating is a big deal - half a star can be 30 bucks a year. When getting a fridge, checking out the stars can save money and greenhouse pollution.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Dad Sees The Light

Recently i was talking with my dad about energy matters. He admitted he wasn't really excited about energy efficiency lights.

My dad's an intelligent person, he'd just never actually sat down and done the calculations. So we did a cost comparison of an old-fashioned bulb, and an energy efficient one.

Dad tells me the lights (in the room we were in) are on for about 6 hours per night. He was shocked to realise that a 35-cent bulb actually costs him $18.24 a year to run (compared to $3.34 to run an energy efficient one). While he still may not be excited about reducing greenhouse emissions, i think he quite likes the idea of saving 15 bucks.

By the way, this calculation was based on the 2006/07 electricity price. If we were to use the 2010/11 price (here in Queensland) the figures would now be $28.06 (old) and $5.14 (efficient) - a saving of $22.92 each year!
(and that's for just one bulb!)

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Climate Change - The Book

I had heard about Barrie Pittock's book, simply titled "Climate change" - but it was only in the last few weeks that i got around to reading it.

Essentially it's an encyclopedia of climate change information. So i recommend it if you're looking to get a thorough understanding of the topic. Alternatively, if you want to just get informed on a particular area, you can use it like an encyclopedia, and just flick through to the chapters of interest.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

$500 Profit

You may have noticed on Friday's post (if you looked really closely) that on the pack, there was a claim that the 6 energy-saving lights would save over $500.

Being the kind of guy who likes to do calculations, i decided to check it out. For each bulb, i calculated the power saving, multiplied by the expected lifetime of the bulb (much longer than old-style bulbs) and then multplied by the price of electricity (before the July 1 increase).

The answer was $549. Even if hadn't got them for free, it would still be a $500 saving. Incidentally, that would also be a greenhouse saving of 7 tonnes of carbon dioxide. Pretty good, for something i can carry in one hand!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Efficiency Give-away

This week at Indooroopilly shopping centre, the people from Energy Australia are giving away 6-packs of energy efficient lightbulbs. I got a pack today.

So if you're in the area why not pick up a pack. If you're not near Indro, don't worry - they're travelling around - and should visit somewhere near you.

Incase you're wondering how it can be free, it's been paid for by people and companies who are offsetting their emission. Effectively they are offsetting their emmissions by reducing ours. So why not take advantage, and make a saving - for you and for the environment.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Big Switch

One of the newer websites to appear is The Big Switch. It's a joint effort between a number of environmental groups, and has become a helpful resource.

As well as explanations of climate change, and tips to reduce emissions at home and at work, there is also a politician watch where each member of parliament is rated out of 5 on their attitude to climate change. The political parties are also rated out of 5 for their policies. There is also helpful information about local climate action groups and events.

For the record, the local MP here (Michael Johnson) scored 0 out of 5.

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Green City

As you may have guessed from the title, this book by Nicholas Low (and colleagues) is not specifically about climate change. Its main aim is to talk about how homes, suburbs and cities can be made more sustainable. However reducing greenhouse emissions seems to form a large part of this.

There are some good chapters on building sustainable homes and sustainable workplaces, but probably the highlight of the book is the chapter on transport. The authors explain what needs to be done to make better use of public transport, and also examine what is going on in European cities of similar size to ours. It's an interesting read.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Dear George

A little while ago, i wrote a piece about the ACF Climate Change Kit. Amongst the contents was a pre-written, pre addressed letter to one of the Queensland Senators - in my case George Brandis.

So today, after a lengthy search for an envelope, i posted the letter. It was a fun experience (these days posting a letter is a rare event) but i can't help but think that emailing would be more effective.

If you're a person who prefers the convenience of having an eloquent pre-written letter, then why not apply for a free Climate Change Action Kit. But if you know what you want to say, then why not email a politician through the links on the right hand side of this page.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Consumption Atlas

Often when we think of our own carbon emission, we look just at our petrol, electricity, and (if we have it) gas usage. However, everything we buy requires energy to make it, and transport it to us.

It is for this reason that the ACF has put together a consumption altas where you can find out the effect of your suburb's use of goods and services. Based on a study done by the University of Sydney, the website also gives tips for reducing waste and over-consumption.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Myth BUSter

As i may have said before, a great way of reducing greenhouse emissions is to use public transport. The best illustration i've seen is this image showing how many cars are replaced by one bus.

However, there is a thought by some people that public transport is too inconvenient. So while walking past my local bus stop, in the mid-afternoon, i snapped this shot of the electronic display.

Granted, i live fairly close to the city, and am not as impatient as some, but i reckon four busses in four minutes is fairly convenient. And even if i have to wait for 4 whole minutes ... i get that time back, by reading a book while being chaffeured to my destination.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Live Earth - 07.07.07

Billed as the "Concerts for a Climate in Crisis", Live Earth will bring together more than 150 of the world's top musicians for 24-hours of music from 9 concerts across all 7 continents.

Live Earth will bring together an audience of more than 2 billion at the concerts and through television, radio, film, and the Internet. Proceeds from the event will create the foundation for a new global effort to combat the climate crisis - led by Al Gore.

The Australian leg of the event features Paul Kelly, Crowded House, Eskimo Joe, Missy Higgins, John Butler Trio, Jack Johnson, Wolfmother ... and more.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Toyota Prius

Two of the easiest ways to reduce the greenhouse gases from driving are to (a) drive less, and (b) carpool. However, if driving your own vehicle is necessary, a hybrid car is a good option. I've previously written about the Honda Civic, but today it's the Toyota Prius.

Sure, the Prius price tag may be more than an equivalent petrol-only car, but the greenhouse gas savings also translate into dollar savings every time you drive. After all, it uses a miserly 4.4 litres per 100km.

In fact, in last night's episode of the Carbon Cops, they calculated that if Verne Glenwright switched to a hybrid vehicle he would save $4000 every year.

To find out more about the Toyota Prius, or hybrids in general, check out the Toyota website, or the Hybrid Car section on the right hand side of this page.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Launch Night

Last night I attended a Symposium /Book Launch by Mark Diesendorf. The presentation he gave was both educational and inspiring - showing just how possible it is for Australia to adopt renewable energy - if only the governments would get themselves into gear.

While i haven't yet read his book Greenhouse Solutions with Sustainable Energy (c'mon - it was only launched last night) if it's anything like the presentation, then it's well worth reading. And the book would have even more info than we saw in the presentation.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Home Energy Handbook

The good people at Carbon Busters have just released their Home Energy Handbook - a guide for reducing your personal greenhouse emissions.
There are tips for both the Carbon Buster (someone who wants to seriously reduce their emissions, but in a cost effective way) and the Carbon Miser (someone who doesn't mind reducing their emissions - as long as there's a quick financial payback).

The book is quite targetted towards a North American audience, so facts and figures are in US dollars, pounds, inches etc - and a lot of the tips relate to colder climates. There's also a lot of comparision of product models not available in Australia.

The book is still a good read, and has some good "Quick Tips", but i'd recommend borrowing a library copy rather than getting your own.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Carbon Cops

It hasn't received much promotion, but there's a new show on the ABC with the interesting title Carbon Cops. Each week the 'cops' meet a new family. With helpful advice and tips, they assist the family in dramatically reducing their greenhouse emissions.

Apart from the tips on the show - which demonstrate that reducing greenhouse emissions can in fact be really simple - their website is also very helpful. It has fact sheets from the show, a greenhouse quiz, and a calculator which enables you to calculate your own greenhouse emissions.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Queensland Strategy

As you may know, the Queensland Government has just released the state's new Climate Change Strategy.

There is a one month period for public comment. Why not email the people in charge of this, encouraging them to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

If you want to read the ultra-quick version, you can read the Courier Mail's article. Also, the Greens have published their own response to the plan.

If you want to read my response to the Government, click on the "comments" link below.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Brisbane's Action Plan

You may remember a few weeks back, the Brisbane City Council received and debated the Call for Action report. Well now the Council has come up with it's response, entitled Plan for Action on Climate Change and Energy.

You can view or download the report from the Council website. Then you can submit your feedback via the website or by emailng Don't you just love democracy? You can also read other people's feedback on the website.

If you want to read my email to Council, click on the "comments" link below.

Friday, June 15, 2007


I've recently finsished reading Clive Hamilton's book "Scorcher: The Dirty Politics of Climate Change". It certainly is an eye opener, and i would recommend it to anyone who is interested in finding out more about climate change and how it has been treated in federal politics.

However, if you wish to believe that the current federal government honestly wants to reduce greenhouse emissions - don't read this book. If you want to believe that the federal government has shown integrity, and represented the wishes of the Australian people - don't read this book. If you want to believe the government is telling the truth - don't read this book. If you're considering voting to reinstate the current government, and prefer not to think about the consequences - don't read this book.

Having said all that - i recommend the book

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Zero Emission Home

In the UK, a prototype carbon-neutral home has been opened. The design meets new rules (to apply from 2016) to make UK homes more energy-efficient, as one quarter of UK carbon emissions come from homes. In a further move to promote energy efficiency, "zero carbon" homes will also be exempt from stamp duty.

The two-bedroom house is insulated to lose 60% less heat than a normal home. It also features solar panels, a biomass boiler and water efficiency devices such as rainwater harvesting.

According to the report by the BBC "The home generates all its own energy - and when you're away on holiday can send electricity back to the National Grid. The company says its annual energy bill would be £31, as compared to £500 for the standard new home of this size".

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Green Buildings

No, it's not something that's achieved with a coat of paint. It's the basis of an article by They've just published a list of the Top 10 most environmentally-friendly buildings in Australia. [see pics]

Number 1 was the CH2 building in Melbourne, which i have talked about previously, and number 10 on the list was the Green Square South Tower here in Brisbane.

Due for completion next month, and to be used by Brisbane City Council, it has been given a greenhouse rating of 4.5 stars. This is due to its energy saving of 320,000 kWh per year (equal to 300,000kg of carbon dioxide).

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

God Moves in Mysterious Ways

For some time now, Christian leaders have been speaking out on climate change as a moral issue - and rightly so. But readers of the the UK's Independent newspaper may have been surprised to see a full page advert by God stating "George, it took me 7 days of hard work to create this planet, please don’t ruin it for me."

While it's unclear who placed the ad on God's behalf, the full text of the advert now appears at where visitors can access President Bush's email and postal address - if they want to add their voice to God's.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Living In The Hothouse

I have just been reading the book "Living in the Hothouse" by Ian Lowe. If that name sounds familiar, it's because he was one of the experts that the Brisbane City Council commissioned to compile the Call for Action report on Climate Change.

Anyway, it's an exceptionally good read. Very informative, especially with regards to Australia. How climate change affects our part of the world; what Australia's situation is, and how we can best tackle the situation.

If you want to know more, you can check it out on the publisher's website, or at your local library. I thoroughly recommend it.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

A House in 16 Seconds

The new Greenpower figures are out for the first quarter of 2007 - and it's good news. There are now almost 500,000 households who have chosen greenpower. This is an increase of 114,000 since the beginning of the year.

I did some maths, and 114,000 people registering in 3 months (minus public holidays and weekends) means an average of one household every 16 seconds. Wow!

This sudden jump is due mainly to NSW, where (after being a bit slow to catch on) the numbers have almost doubled in just the first quarter of this year. It's my guess that a lot of this is due to the awareness raised by the EarthHour event held in Sydney earlier this year.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Fly Carbon Neutral

If you've been getting on Coronation Drive recently you may have seen this billboard, promoting Virgin Blue's "Fly Carbon Neutral" intitiative.

Using the slogan "come clean - go green", the initiative allows customers to pay an additional amount, which will be used to reduce carbon emissions by an amount equivalent one customer's share of the emissions from the flight.

For instance, if a particular flight produces 400 tonnes of greenhouse gases and carries 200 people, then each person is responsible for 2 tonnes of gases. The addditional contribution would fund a 2-tonne reduction is emissions through other means - effectively making the flight carbon neutral.

Virgin Blue are not the only company to have this option. But if you're flying, why not take them (or your airline) up on it. If your airline or travel agent doesn't offer such option, suggest that they should - then go do business with someone who does.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Green Power

Greenpower, greenpower, greenpower. We've all heard about it. So what is it, and how does it work?

The electricity we get comes from a number of sources - mainly coal. Why? Basically because it's cheap. But renewable energy is only slightly more expensive (and getting cheaper). So if we are willing to part with an extra 3 cents for each kilowatt hour we use, then the energy companies are more than happy to source that power from renewable sources.

So how do we do it? If your electricity provider is Origin, then it's as simply as calling 1300 308 624 to join Earthschoice. Have your latest bill handy so you can quote your customer number. Your bill will also tell you how much power you use. Often people choose to get that amount of renewable energy (to cancel out their greenhouses gases) but it's your choice how much renewable energy you get.

It won't cost the earth - but it will help save it.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Increased Cost - Good News

It was recently announced that the price of electricity in Queensland will increase by 10% from July 1. In the ACT, the increase will be 14%. In both cases, the cause of the increase was put down to the drought.

Furthermore, today a CSIRO forecast predicts increased energy phone bills - as the effects of climate change worsen.

While all of this may appear to be bad news, there is a silver lining. It was also recently announced that federal government rebate for installing solar panels at home has doubled to a maximum refund of 8000 dollars.

So with solar panels as cheap as they've ever been, and the price of electricity increasing, it would seem there has never been a better time to install solar panels - and sell the power back to the electricity company at the increased price.

For more info, see Origin Energy's solar information

Friday, May 04, 2007

Power Up

Yet another great report by the Catalyst team. This weeks story explored how individual households can generate power and feed it back into the electricity grid (at a profit).

Sadly, there is no online video, but there is a transcript of the episode on the Catalyst website.

Meanwhile, if you're interested in doing this yourself, it is relatively simple. My energy provider (Origin) has a Solar Energy section of their website which is quite helpful. They can even set it up for you.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Eco-Office Block

ABC's Catalyst programme is quickly becoming one of my very favourite shows on television. Recently, they did a report on "CH2" - the nickname for one of Melbourne's most advanced buildings.

Compared to the average office block, it uses 15% as much energy, and 30% as much water - just by using clever design. You can watch the video at the Catalyst website.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Bill Day :)

It's not often that recieving a bill is a happy time - but it does happen occassionally.

Regular readers may remember my energy efficiency measures such as installing Energy Efficient Lights and adjusting the Hot Water System. I knew (in theory) that these would result in energy savings, but the bill would be the confirmation.

The hot water was down from 581kWh to 397kWh - a 32% reduction. Regular electricity was also down from 397kWh to 366Kwh - an 8% reduction. Some of this may be due to having shorter showers (due to the water shortage) but it's also due to the efficiency measures.

Of course, i also subscribe to Greenpower, so the other joy of getting my bill is reading the update of how many tonnes of carbon dioxide i have saved, by getting energy from renewable sources.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

More Jobs, Less Pollution

There has been a fair bit of talk, mainly from the PM, about how cutting greenhouse gases would cost jobs in the coal industry. This may not be a lie in itself, but what has been ignored is the thousands of jobs that would be created in the renewable energy...... until now!

A report released yesterday [download report] showed that if Australia set a renewable energy target of 25% by 2020, it would actually boost the Australian economy by creating 16,600 jobs and generating 33 billion dollars of new investment in Australia.

Of course, it would also reduce Australia's greehouse gases by 69 million tonnes - almost the equivalent of all of Australia's transport emissions.

Quotes from the news article:

Legislating a renewable energy target of 25%, coupled with energy efficiency measures, could actually save Australian households around $84 each year on their electricity bills.
- Don Henry, ACF’s Executive Director

Australia has unrivalled solar, wind, and geothermal resources and should be a leader in creating a vibrant and job-rich energy industry. Yet due to current Government policies, we’re throwing away our competitive advantage and renewable companies are moving offshore.
- Mark Wakeham, Energy Campaigner