President's December Report

As Christmas 2022 approaches it seems timely to recap and reflect on BREAZE Inc. achievements for the year - along with our ongoing activities we've had some big ones:   

• Via our leadership of the Grampians Community Power Hub, delivered by Sustainability Victoria we identified 46 community renewable energy projects: from feasibility studies for rooftop solar installations for local not-for-profit organisations, to contracting expert facilitator discussions on governance for a community-solar farm, to scoping a community renewables power hub, to first stage feasibility studies for community battery trials – along with extensive Level 1-2 energy audits for the Grampians Health Service on five sites across three regional locations. We estimate the potential total capacity of this pipeline as 12MW. Sometimes, however, the outcomes were not what we wanted. Community batteries we found, were more complicated than we had thought - the contractor Orkestra, has written an interesting article on the topic. BREAZE volunteers - Peter Boadle, Paul Duggan and myself – committed a $242,200 in-kind contribution to the G-CPH, which ran from 1/7/21-30/6/22. Thanks in large part to our Hepburn branch partner led by Hepburn Energy, we also implemented five projects - rooftop solar, btm batteries and heat pump bulk buys. 

•  To promote environmentally sustainable design (ESD) and initiatives undertaken by the City of Ballarat Planning Department in collaboration with CASBE, a subcommittee of BREAZE Board members – Sally Missing (Coordinator), Sue Broadway and Pat Hockey – organised the Building Better Homes for the Future Forum. Over fifty local developers, architects and builders attended to hear a panel of speakers, led by renowned ESD architect Paul Haar, discuss the possibilities for reducing emissions across the building sector – which contributes 30% of GHG emissions. The video recording of the event can be viewed here.

  • Via our membership of the Regional Sustainability Alliance Ballarat (RSAB) BREAZE Inc. was also involved in the development of the City of Ballarat's Plan for the Net Zero Emissions Ballarat 2030 target This target has been a long-held goal for BREAZE and we look forward to working with the wider community and the Council in promoting and advancing the Plan in 2023.

  • BREAZE Social Solar also kicked some goals: in 2023 we look forward to implementing the Woodbine Inc. Solar Project (58.2kW) in Warracknabeal – to be Project Managed by BREAZE Board member and Renewable Energy Consultant, Vany Gunaratnam – thanks to funding from DELWP's New Energy Jobs Round 6; and to installing two more 6.5kW solar systems on McCallum Inc.'s accommodation units in Ballarat, thanks to a grant of $7,250 from CoPower's social renewables fund. and to the BREAZE Public Fund, chaired by Ian Rossiter.


Environmental Stalls at Lucas 10 Year Party and Sunset Community Market

2022Lucas 3Many thanks to Heath Steward, Senior Sustainable Policy and ESD Officer at the  City of Ballarat, who invited BREAZE to be part of the Environmental space at the Lucas 10 Year Party on  Friday 2nd December.

2022Lucas 4
It proved a great way to meet the locals and talk about the environment. Council staff from Waste and Environment led by HoD Les Stokes were out in force talking about the Circular Economy.

But it was the community group Gardens for Wildlife (GFW) who stole the show with boxes of tube plants - all natives - to give away.

Shout out to the CoB nurseries and Sustainability Officer Dan Siemensma for providing the trees. Sam Strong from GFW and Dan had their work cut out advising on planting and placement of the natives - cool trees that went like hot cakes


Smart Living Ballarat

Smart Living Ballarat talks host, Ellen Burns, is holding the last session for 2022 as a  face to face workshop on How to make Comfrey Balm at Barkly Square. If you find it booked out, don't despair, Ellen had also arranged Facebook livestreaming so you can still join the workshop online. Just in time for Christmas, the 21 December Smart Living Ballarat workshop on making your own comfrey balm, a beauty product, is a chance to make gifts for your sustainability-aware friends and family members. Get your tickets here:

Ballarat Green Drinks

A BREAZE sub-committee will be confirming the program for 2023 shortly. The program will run from February to November on the third Thursday of every month, from 6:30-8:00 pm.

The BREAZE Board will be discussing ideas for BREAZE in 2023 at our final meeting on 19 December. If you have any thoughts on what we should be doing please get in touch and I will forward you the zoom link. 

Many thanks for your membership and support throughout the year for the work of our volunteers. 

Finally, thanks to our volunteers and Board members for all the work we've accomplished this year. It's been great working with you all.

Wishing everyone a relaxing, Covid-free and low carbon Christmas.

All the best,


Dr Mary Debrett
President, December 2022