Author Archives: Transition Town Guildford

Gasland II and Fracking in WA

Last week we screened Gasland II, all about how ‘Fracking’ (hydraulic fracturing) has polluted water and politics in the USA, and it was pretty scary!

This industry is looking to take off in WA with test wells planned in two locations in regional WA in the next few months. You can watch a 7:30 WA report on it from the other week here: Mid West community unhappy with fracking plans

But here’s the fantastic news, over the weekend, Central Greenough (south of Geraldton) just became the first ‘Gasfield Free Community’ in WA! Over 96% of the community said no to unconventional gas.

Celebrating the first WA Gasfield Free Community! (Photo Jaime Yallup Farrant)

Celebrating the first WA Gasfield Free Community! (Photo Jaime Yallup Farrant)

Great work Greenough, we support regional Australians protecting their land and water! Make sure you tell your MP that you support protecting our land and water via Clean Water, Healthy Land.

Greenough gasfield free

Over 96% of the local community said no to unconventional gas (Photo Jaime Yallup Farrant)

You might also like to watch this recent Australian Story on how fracking is bringing together unlikely allies, Greens, farmers and shock jock Alan Jones. Available on Iview until 9 pm tonight

Celebration time (photo Jaime Yallup Farrant)

Celebration time
(photo Jaime Yallup Farrant)

Local article in the Geraldton Guardian

Local article in the Geraldton Guardian

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Sold out July Sustainable Home tour

Over 25 people attended a house tour held by Town Transition Guildford’s Sustainable Homes Group on the weekend. Group member Martin Chape opened up his house in Bellevue where he explained to them a number of ways of moving off the electricity grid.

Martin's modern, but Federation style house

Martin’s modern, but Federation style house

The Federation style home has passive solar design features and includes solar and wind charged battery banks to run low voltage lighting and other features throughout the house.

Admiring the solar PV, vacuum tubes and wind turbine on Martin's north facing roof

Admiring the solar PV, vacuum tubes and wind turbine on Martin’s north facing roof

The SMA Sunny Island system which allows disconnection from the electricity grid but continued use of regular 240 volt appliances was explained, as well as the importance of understanding where and how electric power is used in order to design such a system. A demonstration of the Current Cost power monitoring system showed how to track and measure power use for this purpose or to merely help reduce power use by identifying which appliances should be replaced to save energy costs. There was also a discussion on utilizing the Sunny Island system to create micro-grids for small groups of homes that wanted to disconnect from the electricity grid.

The audience watching a video on how a micro grid can work

The audience watching a video on how a micro grid can work

Two solar-powered evaporative air coolers were also on display and an absorption cooling system that utilizes excess heat from a vacuum tube driven solar hot water system during summer. Finally members were shown a soon to be completed solar-powered hydronic home heating system also driven by vacuum tubes.

Some of Martin's set up and projects

Some of Martin’s set up and projects

The systems demonstrated may be viewed on Martin’s Facebook page and several are the subject of his articles published in Renew magazine.

The high demand to attend the house tour (there was a wait list and several people missed out) shows people want to learn more about how to reduce their electricity bills, increase self-sufficiency in energy and live more sustainably.

Full house, unfortunately we have to limit numbers to make things manageable and fit, so please RSVP for future events

Full house, unfortunately we have to limit numbers to make things manageable and fit, so please RSVP for future events

The Transition Town Guildford Sustainable Homes group aims to be a forum for people to ask questions and share knowledge about all things related to building, renovating or renting a sustainable home (especially in the eastern suburbs of Perth, WA).

Community Energy forum wrap

On Monday night we held a Community Energy Forum in Midland. It was short notice, but great to have the opportunity to hear from visiting Community Energy researcher Jarra Hicks. She outlined some of the inspiring community energy projects she’s visited around the world.

You can download a copy of Jarra’s slides here. Unfortunately there wasn’t enough battery to record all her presentation. So if you have video/camera expertise and would like to help in the future, please let us know. Thanks to Michelle Kwok for the Iphone videos below!

Barb’s take away messages from the Congress:

Jenny’s summary from the Congress of different community energy models:

 Download a PDF copy of Barb and Jenny’s slides

To finish the night, Tom Tolchard also presented a summary of the feedback we received at the Guildford Energy launch earlier in the year. Download a PDF copy of Tom’s slides

Following the Community Energy Forum on 21st July and our previous launch, we’re hosting two opportunities for people to come discuss what direction they would like Guildford Energy to take?

  • What should Guildford Energy focus on and aim to achieve?
  • What business model / financial arrangement / governance structure appeals to you?
  • Do you have any ideas for specific projects?
  • Are you interested in investing in such a project?

Join us for one of two facilitated discussions:

Opportunity 1:

Date: Tuesday, 19th August
Venue: Stirling Arms Hotel
Time: 7 pm start

More details and please RSVP

Opportunity 2:
Date: Saturday, 23rd August
Venue: Mechanics Institute
Time: 1 pm start
More details and please RSVP

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