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Sustainability E-News Flash - January 2014

“Trashed” Film Screening - Saturday 11 January 2014

Take 3 and Ocean Ambassadors are stopping in at Byron Bay this weekend raising awareness about the importance of our beautiful marine life. Head to Main Beach for the most fun you have ever had with rubbish, for a beach clean up from 3:00pm - 4:30pm Saturday 11 January. Then head on over to the Pig House Flicks (1 Skinner St, Byron Bay) to check out the film screening "Trashed" from 6:00pm-8:30pm. Click here to see the film trailer.  Entry is by donation and you will also get to hear from leading environmentalist Tim Silverwood (Take 3) and Adrian Midwood (Ocean Ambassadors).

This event is kindly supported by Bryon Shire Council and kick starts the 2014 Sustainability Seminar Series. For more information contact Kim Mallee at Byron Shire Council on (02) 66 267 305.


Study Sustainability in 2014 with North Coast TAFE

Be part of the shift to a sustainable future through North Coast TAFE’s leadership level programs in Sustainability and Education for Sustainability. North Coast TAFE is now taking enrolments for 2014 to study 22105VIC Diploma of Sustainability.

This program caters to participants located right across the Northern Rivers, Tweed and South East Queensland, with periodic face-to-face workshops being held at Kingscliff TAFE Campus.

TAFE's blended delivery means that you won’t be studying on your own - you’ll be part of a network of like-minded individuals, drawing on your collective work and life experience bringing fresh insights to your studies.

Download the 2014 Diploma of Sustainability Course Outline here, or contact Alicia Bales from NSW TAFE on

Are you getting 60c/kWh for your solar?

Important information for solar owners.

The NSW Solar Bonus Scheme (i.e. 60c/kWh feed in tariff) will end on 31 December 2016. If you are currently receiving the 60c/kWh feed in tariff and a credit from your energy retailer, it is time to start planning what to do when the solar bonus scheme ends. Currently, residents who are not signed up to the solar bonus scheme receive between 0-8c/kWh for the solar energy sent to the grid. This creates a situation where it is far more cost effective to use the solar energy when it is generated than sell it to the grid for at most 8c/kWh during the day only to purchase energy from the grid at between 28-33c/kWh during the evening.

Residents who receive the 60c/kWh feed in tariff who have a gross meter will need to upgrade to a net meter as the scheme draws to an end in order to receive the 8c/kWh tariff. Under net metering, electricity from you solar generation is first used to meet any consumption that takes place at the time of the generation. This means that, for each kilowatt you consume of your own generation, you save the retail price that would otherwise be paid for that consumption.

Additionally, changing home behaviours such as setting dishwashers and washing machines to wash during the day is a way to help move your energy consumption into daylight hours, alternatively installing batteries is another option. Just as the solar industry has experienced a significant leap forward in terms of price and efficiency over the last few years so has the related battery technology and battery maintenance is easier than you may think. It is important to note that battery systems can be fitted to your existing system without a change or upgrade to your inverter. As 31 December 2016 draws closer, you may like to save the credits you are currently receiving from your solar system to help fund the installation of batteries. Using batteries allows you to store the energy generated during the day so it can be used during the evening.

To find out more about batteries and managing your solar effectively contact one of Byron Shire’s solar energy businesses by using your favourite internet search engine or the yellow pages.

Kim Mallee - Sustainability Officer Byron Shire Council: