Councils Beyond Gas Event A Huge Success

Dec 04, 2019
Councils Beyond Gas Event A Huge Success

On 3 December 2019, Enhar ran a highly successful one-day forum exploring the need to phase out gas use, with a focus at the municipal level.

The Councils Beyond Gas forum was Enhar's final event for the year and turned out to be an incredible success. The issue of transitioning away from gas is an essential topic for councils to consider on the pathway to becoming carbon-neutral, and Enhar was pleased to be able to put together such an important event.

The full-day event was held in the Green Building; one of Melbourne's premier gas-free buildings and included speakers from a range of backgrounds and hailing from Victoria, interstate, and even internationally. The aim was to give our in-person and online audience of 70 a varied and all-encompassing understanding of the issue, a goal which we certainly believe was met.

The forum heard first from Chris Naso, who teleconferenced in from Berkeley, California. The city of Berkeley was one of the first municipalities in the world to implement legislation banning gas from being connected to new residences, and related initiatives. Chris described the process that the city undertook and the outlined the support garnered from a range of stakeholders which helped make the policy a success.

Next up was Dr Nick Aberle from Environment Victoria who gave some insight into the Victorian context of natural gas, and Tim Forcey, who runs the wildly successful 'My Efficient Electric Home' community added to this with his presentation on moving to all-electric buildings, along with his introduction into some of the alternatives available for councils to consider. Tim’s simple to understand explanation of heat pump technology helped ease the complexity.

Damien Moyse shared the research Renew has done from an economic perspective of gas vs electric appliances in housing, and our next presenter, Tony Belcher, then outlined how these findings have been implemented practically in Barwon Water's new housing development, "Salt". Jessica Rae of Yarra Ranges Shire then gave some insight into a council process for retrofitting using gas-free principals with an example of the Civic Centre redevelopment currently being undertaken by the council.

The audience then heard from representatives from an industry panel consisting of Smartconsult, Scantec, Johnson Controls and GEA refrigeration who promote the use of large heat pumps. These products were widely emphasised throughout the day as a cost-effective alternative to gas heating- including at industrial scale suited to Aquatic Centres.

Richard Keech at the Councils Beyond Gas Forum

Finally, the forum was closed with a presentation from Enhar's senior consultant, Richard Keech, who was the driving force behind the event. His presentation reaffirmed the magnitude of the issue as well as outlining a feasible roadmap for gas phase out that councils should be considering to make the shared goals of zero-carbon  a reality.

During the breaks, the in-person attendees were treated to a delicious sustainability-focussed menu from Nourished by Courtney and had the opportunity to network and share ideas with like-minded councils.

Overall, the event was met with a great amount of support from Victorian councils and a large amount of interest from councils interstate as well. We hope the content has shed some light on an important issue and catalysed some action.

Enhar offers solution focussed technical consultancy to help sustainability leaders achieve a 100% renewable, zero carbon built environment. Our mission is to raise the standard in the industry by providing excellent engineering and project management services for solar and smart energy.

Our team of expert consultants are proud to work with many local governments, universities and other organisations to achieve zero emissions energy. We do this by providing energy strategies, gas phase out strategies and implementation plans, energy efficiency opportunity identification, solar PV feasibility and design, project management and compliance inspections.  We also advise on heat pump project solutions and provide independent credibility to businesses cases to secure budget approvals for these exciting projects.

Contact Enhar to find out more.