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Councils Beyond Gas Forum

Councils Beyond Gas Forum
  • Project: Beyond Gas

On 3 December 2019 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 a range of speakers from Victoria, interstate, and even internationally to give our in-person and online audience of 70 a varied and all-encompassing understanding of the issue.


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 added to this with his presentationon 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 the economic perspective of gas vs electric appliances in housing, and Tony Belcher then outlined how these findings have been implemented practically in Barwon Water's new housing development, Salt. Jessica Raeof Yarra Ranges Shirethen 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 Yarra Ranges Shire.


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


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 likeminded 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 (Enhar missions statement alignment) 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 delivering energy strategies, energy efficiency audits, 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 for


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