Merry Christmas from NEEN

Posted on Dec 17, 2014 | No Comments
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Merry Christmas from NEEN

Season’s greetings to you, our NEEN community! With Christmas nearly upon us,  I  take a moment to reflect on the journey so far and think about where we are headed in 2015.

The National Energy Efficiency Network has had a huge year establishing 28 learning communities across Australia. It’s been my pleasure to visit every State and Territory with our Regional Leaders, and meet many of our members from the social services, arts, community and faith organisations. Whilst every state has been different, all of our members have expressed the need to better manage the costs of energy for their operations. Most members understand the social and environmental costs of profligate energy use, while others are simply shocked by the price impacts. It’s been great to listen to members needs and develop responses accordingly. Each of our learning communities has had an opportunity to reflect and provide feedback about NEEN. Some don’t need the call centre services, others want more technical support, but all enjoy the experience of sharing experiences, seeking answers and helping each other.

The NEEN Team has been busy learning and adapting in each context. We’ve been focusing on building new tools, such as the online forum, to support members and help NEENers make the change to reduce use and find better energy options.  In 2015, we will roll these out – first through beta groups and then with the whole network. Please test them out, tell us what you find useful and feel free to give us suggestions for improvements. We also have some great promotions for members coming up too, with energy efficiency packs, technology and workshops up for grabs for members new and old.

Looking back 2014 has been a monumental year.  We’ve seen many people wake up to the realities of climate change, the costs of fossil fuels and energy based pollution. Developed and developing countries are finding common ground, and from New York to Lima communities have spoken out for change against a backdrop of record temperatures. In the NEEN community we’ve met some passionate people driving and leading change too. Elsewhere we’ve seen political, community and faith leaders act on environmental issues. China and the USA, the worlds largest emitters of greenhouse gases have agreed to find new clean energy solutions. Pope Francis has called for a great shift in our economic and energy systems and US Bishops have called for divestment and renewable energy alongside the UCA and Anglican communities. Locally, councils have banded together to seek clean energy procurement, with the NSW and ACT State Governments continuing to support community energy. Some members report growing energy poverty in Victoria and WA, NT and QLD. Elsewhere the policy settings have been difficult, and much uncertainty remains around the RET, STCs and other policy instruments that have helped to grow clean energy.

Looking further ahead there are likely to be some energy price shocks in 2015. The east coast gas markets face real challenges, but elsewhere the current collapse in oil prices may actually drive up emissions. Volatility is likely. This means that using and implementing NEEN tools and processes will be more critical if you want to plan, act and avoid price impacts.  In 2015 I foresee wider adoption of energy efficiency practices. As many global experts tell us, by 2030 50% of global emission reductions can come from energy efficiency, with nearly a trillion dollars of savings possible.

My personal top 3 Energy Efficiency commitments for 2015 include better lighting in our building (LEDs please Father Christmas), a commitment to new retail options (plenty of new clean energy retailer offers coming) and a trial of energy demand management technology (price drops mean payback is less than a year). What Energy Efficiency actions are you committing to in 2015? Call your NEEN Regional Leader if you need help planning and we look forward to working with you to build a more sustainable and resilient future.

Best wishes to all

Gareth Johnston

NEEN National Leader

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