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What’s on at the Energy Expo

By Lizette Salmon, Regional Landcare Energy Expo Coordinator

When living in Fiji last year I remained on the email distribution lists of many local sustainability groups. The number and diversity of events offered during 2011 really had me hankering to return home. There were various backyard bee-keeping workshops, an organic farm tour, the Yackandandah Environmental Film Festival and internationally-renowned Polyface farmer Joel Salatin.

Now I’m back in Wodonga and taking full advantage of the ongoing stream of events. I’ve also been involved in the organization of one such event; the inaugural North East Energy Expo.

The Expo is one of many Regional Landcare Facilitator projects happening in the area. It will feature a range of fascinating exhibitors and presenters, with many tips for living more lightly. Did you know, for example, that in addition to the various solar bulk purchase schemes, there’s now an electric bike bulk purchase scheme? It’s being offered through the not-for-profit GV Community Energy Association. They’re also distributors of biofuel heaters, the feedstock for which includes wheat waste, olive pips and cherry pips.

I was also amazed to hear there have been at least a dozen geothermal heating and cooling systems installed in local homes in the past year or two. These homes are temperature controlled efficiently and cost-effectively by liquid piped under the ground and heated or cooled by subsurface temperatures. Apparently it’s proving so popular that installers cannot keep up with local demand.

In good news for householders with single glazed windows that lose heat during chilly weather, there’s a new retrofit product on the market that is longer-lasting than existing membrane systems and a fraction of the cost of having new windows installed. I wouldn’t have heard about this, either, if it hadn’t been for the Energy Expo.

On top of various innovations for houses, there have been a multitude of recent innovations for farms too.

If you’d like to know more about the latest and greatest energy saving tips, and have the opportunity to book a free 15 minute consultation with one of the region’s top sustainable designers in our Speed Date a Designer event, we urge you to come along.

The Energy Expo is being held on Sunday 20 May at the Oxley Hall and entry is free. Why not make a day of it and visit the attractions of the Milawa region while you’re there? We look forward to seeing you.

For further information on the Expo, visit www.landcarevic.net.au/northeast/nelc