201609 Update

Hi Everyone,

Time for an update for all our great supporters. Life for Z-NET Uralla has been pretty busy!

Some highlights from the last few months:

The Z-NET Uralla Home Energy Review Team have now completed nearly 30 free home energy reviews, helping people identify what the next steps are to improving the thermal performance of their homes and reducing energy use. Trish Rasmussen (projects(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)zneturalla.org.au) is leading this effort and now has four great Z-NET volunteers to help her. This is a great community activity and if you would like to volunteer some time you would be very welcome, as demand continues for these reviews. In fact you might like one for your own home!

One thing that has come from the Home Energy Reviews, is the many innovative solutions people have for window coverings and draft proofing. So we are going to showcase these at some DIY workshops, the first one being the planned for Saturday 8 October 2016.

We had 100 -150 people visit five Uralla homes as part of the SLA Armidale Sustainable House Tour in July. It was great to see people so generously open up their homes and share ideas on how to stay warm and cosy in winter and generate renewable energy (even to the point of going off-grid!).

The Z-NET Uralla Case Study Homes have been yielding a wealth of information on thermal comfort and how much energy is being expended to keep homes warm over the last two winter months. Peter Low and our partners from ICT International have been busy installing and taking readings from temperature sensors, wood box weighing and gas bottle weighing sensors, plus energy meters. This gives a really comprehensive picture of how well homes of various construction and levels of insulation are performing. Many thanks to our wonderful Case Study Home owners who are generously providing their houses for data collection. Keep an eye on our website for the results once they are analysed over the next few months.

At the request of Stephanie McCaffrey from council, Peter Low has also been out and about with his thermal imaging camera; many Council employees would have recently seen him doing the rounds of most of the Council buildings, sleuthing out the cold spots, drafts and heat leaks that need attention.

We have also started our work with local businesses with Teased &Tangled being the first, with an energy use assessment, some draft stopping installations, and ideas to reduce winter heat loss from Ella’s hairdressing salon. If you are a local business who would like to participate please get in touch with Steve (coordinator(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)zneturalla.org.au) and there are a couple of spots still available for a free workshop (two half days on 13 and 29 Sept at UNE) on how to integrate solar and batteries in your business. These are filling fast so contact Steve pronto if you are interested.

Community events coming up:

  • a free workshop, in conjunction with Office for Environment and Heritage, on the potential of battery storage for businesses (two half days 13 and 29 Sept; contact coordinator(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)zneturalla.org.au);
  • the long awaited information session for those who are swapping over from the Gross Feed-In Tariff (keep an eye on our web and Facebook pages for the date! Pre-register with Steve at coordinator(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)zneturalla.org.au);
  • curtain and draft proofing workshop on 8 October for beginners and the more experienced with expert advice on choice of curtains, construction and design, contact Trish (projects(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)zneturalla.org.au).

Our website is currently getting a revamp and we are searching for local photos of solar panels, the town street scape, rural landscapes with trees, fire wood, and warm cosy fires. If you have some good photos and are happy to share them with us, please shoot through high resolution images to Teresa French (comms(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)zneturalla.org.au).

And last of all – a really big thank you to Jim Sinclair for giving us a home in the old Bank of NSW since March. Jim has now found some great new tenants (who can afford to pay rent!) so we have moved out. We are yet to find another home but you can keep in touch though our website and Facebook page, and we now have a phone number – 0411 804 627

Don’t forget to ‘like’ us on Facebook!

Sandra Eady
Z-NET Uralla Convenor
convenor(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)zneturalla.org.au