Hume Solar Roll-out

It’s a great time to consider installing solar at home. By generating renewable energy on your roof, solar systems reduce electricity bills and help our environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The Victorian Government is currently offering generous rebates of $1400 and interest-free loans of up to the same amount for eligible households.

To help make the decision to install solar even easier, Council has partnered with the Yarra Energy Foundation (YEF). YEF have gone through a competitive process to select an accredited solar supplier that is offering good quality systems at a reasonable price for Hume residents.

To find out more and to get a free, no-obligation quote click the button below or call YEF on 1300 866 634.

Register for a quote

The natural greenhouse effect warms the planet to an optimum temperature for life on Earth. For millions of years, water vapour, carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases have occurred naturally, heating the atmosphere and making Earth liveable.

However, human activities - mainly from the burning of fossil fuels, intensive agriculture and land clearing - have tipped the balance and are causing greenhouse gas concentrations to rise above natural levels. The enhanced greenhouse effect has resulted in the planet warming beyond optimum conditions.

As global temperatures rise, weather patterns worldwide have changed and will continue to change, affecting the long-term climate. The enhanced greenhouse effect is often called global warming or climate change.

What are the impacts?

Australia is very vulnerable to the effects of climate change. It is the driest inhabited continent on earth, heavily exposed to the dangers of extreme heat, drought and other extreme weather events.

The impacts of climate change are already being felt locally and worldwide, and will increase into the future. Much of Victoria, including Hume, has recently experienced drought conditions lasting more than a decade and severe local weather events. Hume is particularly vulnerable to climate change impacts due to the demographic make-up (people on low incomes and from diverse cultures are more at risk of climate impacts), biodiversity values and the large proportion of the municipality that is rural – with agricultural activities already threatened by low rainfall. Due to Hume’s status as a growth area, there are also opportunities to plan and influence new development to be well suited to future climate conditions.

Some of the direct climate change impacts for south eastern Australia will include:

  • Hotter, drier conditions
  • Reduced overall rainfall
  • More extreme weather events including storms, strong winds, hail and heavy downpours
  • Rising sea levels.  

These impacts will give rise to a greater number of and more intense extreme events including:

  • Fires
  • Heat waves
  • Droughts
  • Floods.

There are also secondary impacts of climate change (impacts arising from direct climate impacts) such as:

  • Spread of diseases, e.g. spread of mosquito borne diseases such as Dengue Fever and Ross River virus
  • Health and wellbeing, e.g. heat stress, mental health issues
  • Food and agriculture, e.g. land no longer suitable for agriculture, damage to crops
  • Biological cycles, including a reduction in the fertilisation of food crops
  • Energy cost increases
  • Insurance cost increases and/or difficulty in securing insurance cover
  • Climate refugees - people relocating due to climate impacts in their home countries.

Greenhouse Action Plan 

Council has developed the Greenhouse Action Plan 2018-2022, which focuses on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, primarily in Council operations, but also with the Hume community.

Renewable energy

Council is investing in renewable energy, installing solar PV systems and solar hot water systems on Council buildings. These include leisure centres, pre-schools and community centres.

Council is in the process of moving to 100 per cent GreenPower electricity for all Council buildings and street-lighting. GreenPower is a government accredited program for purchasing greenhouse neutral electricity from renewable sources. Further information is available on the 

Greenhouse Action

Council is a member of the Northern Alliance for Greenhouse Action (NAGA), a network of local councils to share information, coordinate emission reduction and adaptation activities and cooperate on research and development of innovative projects. Eight other local Councils are also members of NAGA: Cities of Banyule, Darebin, Manningham, Melbourne, Moreland, Whittlesea, Yarra and Nillumbik Shire Council. You can find out more by going to www.naga.org.au.

Do you struggle to pay your energy bills? Are your energy bills high because someone in your home has an ongoing medical condition or disability? Have you lost your job during the COVID-19 pandemic? This program helps to reduce household energy costs and make homes more comfortable. It includes a subsidised energy assessment of your house plus subsidised upgrades of your home and major fixed appliances, such as insulation, draught proofing, heating, and cooling, hot water services, and shading.

You will need to pay $70 for the assessment (normally valued at around $495) and contribute a minimum of $350 to the cost of upgrades. You will receive funding support of up to $2,000 from the Victorian Government and Hume City Council. For example: 

Energy savvy upgrades program diagram

If you are interested in this program, please call the delivery partner Draught Busters on 1300 130 364.

Please note, there are a limited number of upgrades available for Hume households and for a limited time. 

If you would like to participate but have concerns about the cost of the home assessment and upgrades, please call Council’s Household Energy Officer on 0447 772 429 to find out if you are eligible for the Victorian Government’s $250 Power Saving Bonus and support claiming it.

To keep your energy costs low, our top tips are:    

  1. Set your thermostat to 18-20°C in winter and 24-26°C in summer. Every degree higher in winter or lower in summer will cost you 10 per cent more on your bills.
  2. Draught proof and seal gaps around windows and doors.
  3. Install low flow showerheads to save up to $110 a year on hot water costs.
  4. Wash your clothes in cold water and dry them on a clothes line, to save up to $150 per year on your electricity costs.       
  5. Switch appliances off at the switch, to save up to $50 by cutting standby power use.

Visit the Australian Government's Your Energy Savings web page, Sustainability Victoria's energy saving web page and the Consumer Policy Research Centre's Energy Info Hub for more tips.

Council has created three videos on energy saving in the home in alternate languages:

Power-Mates

Power-Mates is an Australian invention and simple to use. It gives you a reading of the energy, running costs and greenhouse gas emissions of individual appliances around your home and in your business – helping you to identify how you can save.

You can borrow a Power-Mate by visiting any Hume libraries branch. You can also download the following to assist in tracking your appliances:

Government support and rebates

The Victorian Government's Energy Saver Incentive offers discounts and special deals on selected energy-saving products for households and businesses, including lighting, hot water heating, insulation, heating and cooling and pool pumps. For further information, including a list of accredited installers (‘participants’) in your area, visit the Victorian Energy Saver web page.

Rebates are also available from the Australian Government. To find rebates that apply to you, visit the Australian Government's Your Energy Savings rebate web page.

GreenPower and energy comparison

GreenPower is a government accredited program to enable you to choose to purchase electricity from renewable sources. Further information is available from the GreenPower website.

To find electricity, gas and solar offers for all energy retailers to help you save money on your energy bills, visit Victorian Energy Compare web page. Jemena, the electricity distributor in the Hume area, provides a free online Electricity Outlook portal to allow households to track their daily electricity use and solar generation.

The things we eat, buy and dispose of as waste can also result in greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. Some ways to reduce these impacts include:

  • Eating less red meat and dairy foods (cows and sheep produce methane a potent greenhouse gas
  • Choose local foods and those that are less processed  
  • Buy energy-using products with the most stars as possible – they will be cheaper and more efficient to run
  • Buy durable products that will last
  • Compost or worm farm your food scraps or use a Council green waste bin
  • Reduce food waste by planning meals and buying only what you need.

Find out more ways to reduce your consumption and correctly dispose of your waste by visiting the your options for rubbish disposal webpage.