West End Resilience is an informal community group based on a common sense of place and mutual support in changing times, open to anyone living on the west side of Castlemaine.
Since forming a few years ago with a focus on the impacts of climate change, it has helped keep neighbours in Castlemaine’s West End connected through bushfires and Covid lockdowns.
As part of this, the West End’s Energy Group works to accelerate the adoption of equitable, clean and efficient energy solutions in our neighbourhood.
The Energy Group recognises the work done around renewable energy in the Castlemaine community by many individuals and collectives including the Net Zero crew and hopes to build on and apply it for the benefit of everyone in the community.
The West End Energy group recently hosted a free ‘Household Energy Savings Workshop’ in the West End Hall on July 31. Around 40 people gathered to hear John McDonald and Julie Flynn from the Community Power Hub Loddon Mallee share some expert guidance on boosting thermal comfort in our homes. We were encouraged to bring a recent power bill along to interpret, learn about Government initiatives we can tap into to save on energy efficiency and enjoy some afternoon tea!
The Energy group investigates sustainable energy solutions that are accessible for all West Enders, including tenants, home-owners and businesses. To guide their work, the group conducted a short neighbourhood survey early in 2022 to gather the views of the whole West End community on local energy generation, efficiency and storage.
The group received 120 responses to the survey, representing around 20% of West End households. Some of the survey results were surprising in lovely ways! For example, when asked what the greatest value of neighbourhood-scale energy solutions would be, the top 3 responses were:
1.Reducing carbon emissions,
2. Working together for a positive outcome for the community &
3. Supporting more vulnerable members of the community.
West End Energy group is now exploring neighbourhood battery options, developing a web page of collated resources for locals wanting to save money on their energy bills and reduce their carbon footprint and planning further household energy workshops. Since partnering with MANZWG, the Energy Group is also approaching West End businesses, encouraging them to make the BIG SWITCH to 100% renewable power.
The West End’s Bridge Hotel has supported the Energy Groups efforts and is now committed to installing solar panels on the pub’s roof!