President's July Report

MD 2023A new world record

Some alarming news this month, which needs to be acknowledged in face of society's business as usual approach. Climate change made international news headlines with the first week of July declared  the hottest on world record. The Times reported: “The WMO said that at least three datasets – run by the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), the University of Maine and the European Union’s space programme, Copernicus – indicated that preliminary temperature records had been broken.” 

A key factor in the dramatic temperature rises is the anticipated El Nino – which results from sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, warming well above the average, causing a shift in atmospheric circulation. To find out more about why this is happening listen to this week's Energy Insiders podcast with Monash University researcher, Kimberley Reid

In addition to all the environmental and economic damage arising from global warming, the Carbon Brief observes the implications for public health noting: "And there is widespread media coverage of a new study, which finds that extreme heat during the summer of 2022 was linked to more than 61,000 heat-related deaths across Europe."

Implementing the Ballarat Zero Emissions Plan 

On the home front in Ballarat, BREAZE Inc. volunteers have been focusing on events to help local residents move off gas and make their homes more energy efficient to take advantage of that great synergy, fighting two crises at once – cutting energy bills and GHG emissions

My All Electric Home - Forum 3: Building Better Homes for the Future

My All Electric Home: the third and final forum in the Building Better Homes for the Future series, which was held on 2 July at Mercure Ballarat2023   My All Electric Home was ably hosted by Ellen Burns, with guest speaker, Lloyd Heathfield, Project Officer with the Yarra Energy Foundation. Lloyd, who comes from a background as a solar installer, gave an enthusiastic and detailed account of the economics, technicalities  and compelling reasons to transition to an all-electric homes. With the Victorian government committed to turning off the gas by 2035 this transition is something we should all be planning for. The upside being that there are terrific cost savings to be made, particularly for those with lots of rooftop solar. New smart electric technology including hot water heat pumps and induction cooktops use a fraction of the energy of their conventional counterparts. Gas, as we now know is not a cleaner option than coal, as was once widely promulgated. Switching it off and going all electric is probably the best thing we can do for the environment. On this theme Friends of the Earth have an online pledge - Getting off gas - that people might like to support.

Special thanks to Sally Missing, coordinator of the Building Better Homes for the Future forums, and by all who worked with her - Sue Broadway, Lydia Mzondo, and Pat Hockey – for a very successful and timely event. My All Electric Home drew an attendance of 117. Many thanks too, to Councillor Belinda Coates for attending the forum and for her introductory words and acknowledgement of traditional owners. BREAZE gratefully acknowledges the support of the City of Ballarat and  Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA).

24 July - How to Make Your Home Energy Efficient

EE Energy workshop TWITTER 2

From 24 July - 11 September, the BZE Alliance, of which BREAZE is a member, will be running six workshops aimed particularly at helping vulnerable residents and low income households to make their homes more thermally efficient. 

Funded by the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action, the workshops will be led by two accredited Victorian Energy Scorecard assessors, Dale Boucher and Tim Drylie. Participants from the first six sessions will be invited to return for a Review session – September 4 & 11 – for follow-up questions, sharing their successes and problems and completing a review form for the organisers. Content will cover cheap fixes, energy efficient appliances and government rebates and subsidy schemes. The workshops are part of a pilot, with further funding to be sought later this year for a longer program for 2024.

It is intended that everyone will leave with a plan. Participants should bring recent energy bills.

10 August - How to Make Your Business Energy Efficient: Smart Living Ballarat @ B31TWITTER

BREAZE Inc. is also running a workshop  in energy efficiency for Ballarat business owners, as part of Commerce Ballarat's B31 Festival that runs throughout the month of August. The workshops will be hosted by local businesswoman, Ellen Burns and led by Dale Boucher, an accredited Victorian Energy Scorecard Assessor. 

This will be an interactive session in which participants are again asked to bring recent energy bills to better enable them to develop an energy efficiency plan to suit their building/space and budget.


Monthly Events

20 July: Ballarat Green Drinks – Ronnie Reissenweber, award winning building designer, Environ Design

Building Designqrcode Ballarat Green Drinks 2023   Bunch of Grapes Hoteler, Ronnie Reissenweber, will discuss the principles of environmentally conscious design in new builds and renovation. 

Ronnie has a Masters in Architecture from the Technical University of Delft in the Netherlands, where as a registered architect he was a prize winner in an architectural competition for sustainable design in 1993.
Migrating to Australia in 1999, he went on to establish his business, Environ Design, in Port Arlington.

Working as a builder/designer he won an award for sustainable building design in 2011 –  the HIA Western Victoria Regional Housing Awards: Best Display Home up to $250.000 for a display home in Leopold (Vic.) and was also recognised by the BDAV for the design of a dwelling with a 10-star energy rating. Ronnie moved his current office in Geelong in 2017.

6:30-8:00pm, Bunch of Grapes Hotel, 401 Pleasant St, South, Ballarat - Join us for drinks/dinner and great talks and conversation.  Free book via 

26 July: Smart Living Ballarat Learn how to use the Thermal Imaging Camera with Melissa Waight: Ballarat Central Library: Town Hall ground floor - 12:30-1:30 pmScreen Shot 2023 07 12 at 1.49.58 pm

Many old Ballarat houses don't have much insulation. Often there are cracks in floorboards, window frames and doorways that are hard to find and address.

A thermal imaging camera can help you identify the weak spots in your house's insulation and draught proofing. Ballarat's Central Library now has thermal imaging cameras available for loan.

Join in this session in person at the Central Library pop up at Town Hall or join the session online here:    This session will also be live-streamed live to the Smart Living Ballarat Facebook page and will then be posted and available to watch, rewatch and share. Smart Living Ballarat Facebook page

Smart Living Ballarat is a program of free monthly workshops, a collaboration between BREAZE Inc. and the City of Ballarat.

Board Matters

As noted in an e-newsletter last month on 21 June, a Special General Meeting of BREAZE Inc. will be held on Monday 17 July at 5:30pm in the Function Room, the Royal Mail Hotel, 290 Albert St Sebastopol, to consider and vote on the following Special Resolution: 

That BREAZE Inc. establishes a new category of membership – BREAZE Inc. Business membership – for which the annual fee will be set at $100.

The Special General Meeting will be held immediately prior to the monthly July Board meeting to which members are also welcome to attend and join Board members for dinner. 

PLEASE NOTE: To be able to attend and vote at this Special General Meeting you will need to be a paid up member of BREAZE or a have Life Membership.

BREAZE Inc. Board meetings are held on the third Monday of the month and alternate between Zoom and face to face meetings over dinner at the Royal Mail Hotel in Sebastopol. If you are a paid up member of BREAZE Inc. you are welcome to join us. If you would like to volunteer with us we would love to hear from you. Please email and I will forward you link/details. 


Dr Mary Debrett
President, June 2023