With energy bills rising, now is a great time to consider putting solar on your roof, switching to all-electric hot water and appliances, and upgrading heating/cooling systems. Making the switch could not only save you money, it will also make your home more comfortable in summer and winter, and reduce emissions. Use the information below to find out what steps you can take to reduce emissions and save money.

Energy Efficiency and Portable Induction Kits

Save energy, money and the environment. These kits can be borrowed free from your local Myli library.

Home Energy

Electrifying our homes is one of the most important steps we can take to smooth the path to zero emissions. Over time, switching to an all-electric home will save households thousands of dollars in energy bills.

Installing rooftop solar is one of the best ways to reduce your energy bills and household emissions.

Over three million Australian homes now have solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on their roofs, generating cheap, clean energy from the sun. Any electricity your household doesn't use is sent back to the electricity grid and used by other households, helping to reduce their environmental impact too.

With rebates offered by Solar Victoria, a typical rooftop solar system in Victoria could pay back the cost of the system within 3-5 years. Typical households can save up to $1,073 per year on their electricity bills when they install solar panels. Quality solar panels last at least 25 years, so that initial investment should repay several times over compared with the cost of buying electricity from the grid (Solar Victoria).

For more information about installing rooftop solar, take a look at Solar Victoria's Solar Panel (PV) Buyers Guide.

What rebates are available?

Solar Victoria is providing a rebate of up to $1,400 for solar panel (PV) system installation, for homeowners with existing homes, homes under construction and rental properties.

To further reduce installation costs, eligible Victorians can apply for an interest-free loan, for an amount equivalent to their rebate amount. The loan is required to be repaid over four years or can be repaid sooner in one lump sum.

Find out if you're eligible for the $1,400 rebate and interest-free loan on the Solar Victoria website.

What if I can't install solar?

If you’re unable to install solar panels on your roof, you can still access renewable energy!

The GreenPower program is a government managed scheme that enables Australian households and businesses to displace their electricity usage with certified renewable energy, which is added to the grid on their behalf. The majority of energy retailers offer certified GreenPower, which costs on average an additional 5-8c per KWh equating to a few extra dollars a week.

Find out more on the GreenPower website.

Rooftop solar paired with batteries enables households to generate, store and use their own electricity during the day or night.

By installing batteries, households get more value from using the energy they generate onsite, rather than receiving a low feed-in-tariff when they sell excess energy back to their retailer.

Household renewables and battery systems reduce dependence on the grid for electricity and are part of the shift towards a more decentralised energy system that is less reliant on large power plants. This type of system is more resilient to failures and shocks to electricity transmission, including those caused by storms, lightning, and bushfires.

Find more information about solar batteries on the Solar Victoria website.

What rebates are available?

Solar Victoria solar battery loans will reduce the upfront cost of installing a solar battery, with repayments made over a four-year period. Eligible households can access interest-free loans of up to $8,800. Find out if your household is eligible for a solar battery loan on the Solar Victoria website.

Battery storage may not be suitable for all households and circumstances, and we recommend doing research as the first step on your battery journey, to check if a battery will be suitable for your household.

Water heating is the largest source of energy use, and greenhouse gas emissions, in an average Australian home. On average, over 20% of household energy use is attributable to hot water heating.

Heat pump hot water systems are electric and can easily replace existing hot water systems. Using similar technology to reverse cycle air conditioners, they are generally the most efficient technology for heating water.

On average, households that install heat pump or solar hot water systems can expect to save between $140-$400 per year on their electricity bills (Solar Victoria).

For more information about upgrading your hot water system, take a look at Solar Victoria's Solar Hot Water Buyers Guide.

What rebates are available?

Solar Victoria are providing a 50% rebate of up to $1,000 on eligible solar hot water and heat pump hot water systems.

Find out if your household is eligible for a hot water rebate on the Solar Victoria website.

Heating and cooling accounts for around 40% of typical household energy use, making it the largest energy user in the average home. Upgrading your gas, wood-fired or inefficient electric heater to a high-efficiency reverse cycle air conditioner will reduce household energy consumption and costs during summer and winter, and make your home more comfortable!

What rebates are available?

The Victorian Government's Home Heating and Cooling Upgrades program is helping Victorian households improve their thermal comfort by offering rebates to upgrade gas, electric and wood heaters with energy efficient reverse-cycle air conditioners.

Eligible households (including rental properties and community housing) can apply for rebates of up to:

  • $1,000 towards the cost of an energy-efficient reverse-cycle air conditioner,
  • $200 towards the cost of decommissioning an outdated gas heater (if an existing gas heater is being replaced), and
  • $500 towards the cost of upgrading a switchboard (if an upgrade is required).

Check your eligibility and find out more on the Solar Victoria website.

Older lighting fixtures (e.g. halogen, incandescent, and fluorescent lights) are energy intensive and can be replaced with efficient LED lighting to reduce emissions, household energy consumption, and electricity bills. Approximately 29% of all households in Bass Coast have not switched to LED lighting.

The Victorian Energy Upgrades program is helping households save energy and money by installing energy-saving lighting technology such as LEDs.

Find more information about how much your household could save, rebate eligibility and accredited providers on the Victorian Energy Saver website.

Electric vehicles (EVs) are cars or other vehicles with motors that are powered by electricity rather than liquid fuels like petroleum and diesel. Since they operate off electricity, EVs have the potential to be powered entirely by renewable energy, unlike fossil fuel powered internal combustion engine vehicles. Also, because EVs produce no tailpipe emissions, they greatly reduce the amount of air pollution in our cities and towns.

EVs are an important part of electrifying our households and communities. Across Bass Coast, transport makes up almost 30% of total emissions. Although EV uptake in Australia is lower than other developed countries, the number of EVs is expected to grow as cheaper models arrive and more charging infrastructure becomes available. By the mid 2020s, EVs are expected to match petrol vehicles on upfront price and driving range (ARENA).

Car manufacturers are bringing more and more EV models to Australia, with prices dropping as investment in battery technology increases and the technology continues to improve. New EVs under $50,000 have a range capacity of 480 kilometres, with more expensive vehicles offering even greater range. Even in regional areas like Bass Coast, this driving range would be more than enough for most households.

What rebates are available?

The Victorian Government’s target is for half of all light vehicle sales in Victoria to be zero emissions vehicles by 2030. Solar Victoria is offering subsidies valued at $3,000 for eligible new zero emissions vehicles. The subsidy is available to Victorians for one vehicle purchase and to businesses for the purchase of up to two vehicles.

Check your eligibility and find out more on the Solar Victoria website.

Looking for a place to charge?

If you already own an EV, or are considering purchasing one, you can find a map of charging stations across Australia here: PlugShare - EV Charging Station Map - Find a place to charge your car!

Gardens, Waste & Recycling

Our backyards are a great place to reduce emissions and landfill waste, stay active, grow delicious nutritious food, all while saving money on grocery bills.

Growing food at home is a great way to eat healthy, exercise, and connect with nature. Even if you rent, or live in an apartment with a small balcony, there are still ways to access the many benefits of homegrown fresh produce.

  • My Smart Garden is a free website that will help you grow food, shelter your home from the sun and wind, create homes for local wildlife, use water wisely, and recycle waste. There are lots of resources, videos, and case studies, and there is also a monthly newsletter where you can get more sustainable gardening tips, recipes, and more.
  • Compost Revolution have some great free online tutorials about composting, worm-farming and bokashi (a type of composting involving bacterial fermentation, rather than decomposition).

There are several community gardens across Bass Coast, which are great places to connect with other gardeners and share knowledge.

  • Coronet Bay Community Garden
    Garden gatherings/working bees are held at the community garden behind the community hall every Thursday at 10.00am, and every second Sunday of the month at 10.00am

Meets every Wednesday 9.30am -12.00. Gardeners work together to harvest vegetables, fruit in season, ideas and inspiration. Excess produce goes to the Community Pantry at Mitchell House. Gold Coin donation. Produce Swap on second Saturday of the month at 10.30am, followed by the Wonthaggi Food co-op monthly distribution.

  • Phillip Island Community Orchard
    Like to grow your own fruit but not enough space in your backyard? Then join the Phillip Island Community Orchard located in Wimbledon Heights.
  • PICAL Community Garden & Kitchen
    The PICAL Cowes Community Garden is a local food project, providing a focal point within the Phillip Island Community, offering opportunities for activities such as organic vegetable and fruit growing workshops, food swaps, access to local fresh produce and a great venue for meeting like minded people.
  • Wonthaggi Community Garden
    The Garden provides facilities for local people to grow vegetables, fruit, herbs and flowers. Volunteers and members get together on Thursdays from 10.00am to 12.00pm. These sessions are free and open to people of all ages and abilities.

Landfill waste produces greenhouse emissions as the waste decomposes. Reducing the amount of waste going to landfill is a great no or low-cost action everyone can take to reduce emissions across Bass Coast.

In 2017, Bass Coast introduced green food and organics bins to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill. This initiative now means over 70% of all kerbside waste collection is diverted from landfill, up from around 30% before the food and organics bins were introduced.

Which bin does THAT go in?

You can find information about what to put in your organics (green), recycling (yellow), and landfill (red) bins here.

Need more information?

You can find more information about Bass Coast's waste services, including bin collection dates, on the Bass Coast Shire Council website.