We are proud to announce that the Hepburn Shire will be Victoria’s first Z-NET community as part of Sustainability Victoria’s TAKE2 Community Transition Pilot.
The Coalition for Community Energy (C4CE) will be working with Hepburn Wind, the Hepburn Shire Council and local sustainability groups to make our shire the first Victorian example of a Zero-Net Energy Town (Z-NET) as part of the State Government’s TAKE2 Community Transition Pilot.
The Z-NET blueprint was first developed in Uralla (NSW) in response to the community’s desire to cut emissions from stationary heat and electricity. The project created a template that communities across Australia could use to monitor and offset their energy emissions by developing local renewable generation and reducing their energy consumption.
For the Hepburn Shire Z-NET, the blueprint will be further enhanced by considering emissions from transport, waste, industry and land use.
This level of ambition is based on community members high level of support for transitioning away from fossil fuels. The Carbon Free Conversations held by Hepburn Shire Council last year demonstrated that many locals were not content with a business as usual approach. Additionally, thanks to our two wind turbines on Leonards Hill, we have a head start in reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and growing community energy capacity.
How does Z-NET work?
The first step in the Z-NET approach is developing a blueprint of our greenhouse gas emissions. This enables the region and community to recognise where the bulk of emissions are coming from. Once this blueprint is completed C4CE, will work with the community to develop a transition plan for the Hepburn Shire to achieve 100% renewables and carbon neutrality.
The project has received $80,000 dollars in funding from Sustainability Victoria, an additional $20,000 from the Hepburn Shire Council, $10,000 from Samsø Energy Academy and $8,000 from Diversicon Environmental Foundation. The C4CE project team delivering the Pilot is made up of members from the Alternative Technology Association, Moreland Energy Foundation and Starfish Initiatives.
The Z-NET project will run from February to August 2018. We will be providing frequent updates and if you would like to find out more follow our new Facebook page Hepburn Shire Z-NET