Rewiring Australia is a movement that encourages everyday households to electrify their homes with renewable energy, as a powerful way to transition to a sustainable future.
Rewiring Australia’s Mobilisation and Engagement Manager Kristen McDonald talked to us about what this involves, why it matters and how we can all take steps to make the transition to clean energy a reality.
It’s not just government and big business that leads the transition to renewable energy. If enough ordinary households made the switch that would make a massive difference to our national emissions as well as cutting household energy costs. That’s why Rewiring Australia is working with a broad range of communities and individuals across Australia to accelerate and support households on their journey of electrifying. This work is helping families and communities save money on their power bills, create healthier homes and reduce their carbon emissions. One of their initiatives Electrify 2515 (it’s a postcode!) aims to create one of Australia’s first all-electric communities.
This event is part of the Uniting Church in NSW.ACT’s Living the Change series of information forums. Living the Change explores ways individuals and households can reduce their own carbon footprint and care for the environment as part of faith and life.
There was some great discussion in the chat during the session – here are some questions that came up and answers other attendees provided:
Q Are all electrical cars made from cobalt ?
A Cobalt is an ingredient in batteries, but there is lots of innovation around new types of batteries
Q How do we know other innovations are not using cobalt as a ingredient and in the making. And are other innovations using ethical minerals for the making of new types of batteries?
A That is part of the purpose of researching other battery types – reduce or eliminate use of minerals mined unethically (or with significant environmental impacts), as well as cost effectiveness, more effective, use more abundant minerals, and many other reasons. You could maybe look up the website of any car you are interested in buying to see if the batteries include cobalt, and whether it was mined ethically or not. Some companies are not buying cobalt mined unethically (like how some companies don’t buy blood diamonds)
Q How do Hybrids compare to petrol/diesel cars and fully electric cars?
Hybrids are only slightly more efficient than petrol/diesel cars e.g. 5 litres/100km vs 7 litres
Q What are thoughts on having a hybrid for a few years before EVs become more affordable and have better range for long distances and places without charge stations?
A I would go electric up front – they are such a cost saver. The financing to buy one can be the same cost as your current petrol bill
Q Would hybrids be better options for people living regionally and rurally – where there isn’t the same range or amount of charge stations
A There’s a lot of investment in chargers nowadays – even across the Nullarbor! Most people charge at home
Q I always thought gas is a lot cheaper to use?
A Where we live it makes sense to get off gas just because of the additional connectivity fee.
Q Can you recommend someone who can advise on household battery?
A I’d ask locally (e.g. in a local Facebook group) for recommendations of a local solar company. It’s best to use a local reputable provider who is there for the long term, if possible
Q what options are there for renters?
ZEN has been actively developing a framework for Solar in Strata, which can benefit renters: https://www.zeroemissionsnoosa.com.au/solar-for-strata
Randwick Council has been doing a lot of work and local research on getting solar into apartments, including for renters. If you’re interested in this subject it may be worth making contact with their Sustainability Team to find out what their latest is.
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