How to make the switch and save on costs

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Where: Mercure Ballarat Hotel and Convention Centre. 613 Main Rd, Golden PointWhen:  Sunday 2nd July 2- 3.30 pm        Guest speaker:  Lloyd Heathfield Yarra Energy FoundationThis free forum will cover how to transition to or build an all-electric home including the costs, savings and comfort benefits; as well as the steps needed to make the switch. An opportunity to hear about practical solutions, costing and advice on purchasing and discounts including solar panels, heating and cooling, electric hot water, induction cooktops and provision for electric vehicles.To register: contact: Sponsored by:The City of BallaratDEECA. Department of Energy and Environment and Climate Action

MD 2023CoB 2023/24 DRAFT BUDGET

BREAZE Inc. was well represented in submissions to the City of Ballarat’s 2023/24 Draft Budget and at the Unscheduled Council meeting on 7 June, when those who made submissions were invited to address Council about their submissions. Board members Sally Missing and Sue Broadway made personal submissions along with myself as president, representing the Board and BREAZE Inc. membership. The BREAZE submission – available as a downloadable pdf on the website – urges Council to allocate more funding to climate action and to implement Actions in the Ballarat Zero Emissions (BZE) Plan. We offered a number of practical suggestions we hope Council will take on board as ways of both helping to cut community GHGs and householders’ energy bills – addressing both the climate emergency and the cost of living crisis simultaneously:

  • Collaboration on a community wide Home Electrification Program – promoting bulk buys for rooftop solar, hot water heat pumps, home batteries and reverse cycle air conditioning 
  • Collaboration with the BZE Alliance on a pilot workshop program to assist low income households with energy efficiency retrofitting 
  • A BZE/Sustainability Awards Program that would make awards on a sector-by-sector basis (neighbourhoods, schools, not-for-profits, commerce, industry) in collaboration with community groups to raise public awareness of the BZE 2030 target and Plan
  • Collaboration on a community-wide communications program informing citizens of  the full range of rebates and subsidies available for homeowners and renters to make homes more energy efficient and cut GHG emissions
  • Additional Council staff to assist vulnerable residents and low income households access low interest loans to finance energy efficient resources

BZE Check in
On 8 June the City of Ballarat’s Sustainable Environment team held an event at the Ballarat Soccer Centre for the community to share their work to date on cutting GHGs and driving the aspirational 2030 net zero target – endorsed by the City in 2021 and mapped in the BZE 2030 Plan endorsed in October 2022.

The diverse range of presenters at the Check-In included: BREAZE inc., Laminex, McCain, Smart Living Ballarat, Committee for Ballarat, Community Bank Buninyong, Ballarat Dark Sky Community, Schneider Electric, Trunorth Projects, Ballarat Tool Library, Sustainability Victoria, and Ballarat Grammar.


Members of the newly formed Ballarat Zero Emissions Alliance BZEA copyattended the Check-In event.

The Alliance is working towards a pilot for a series of energy efficiency workshops to assist local residents cut their energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions.

Member groups are: BREAZE Inc, Extinction Rebellion Ballarat, Ballarat Tool Library, Ballarat Repair Café, Ballarat Permaculture Group and Hidden Orchard. Any other groups that wish to join should get in touch.



Over 120 grade 5&6 students from across greater Ballarat entered the BREAZE Inc. Children’s Writing Competition this year. Addressing the 2023 World Environment Day theme –Solutions to Plastic Pollution – their writing demonstrated their concerns for the environment. Some pondered what favourite wild places might be like for their grandchildren, while most noted the importance of the 3x Rs – refuse, reuse and recycle and endorsed a host of sustainable practices that are becoming a part of their lives. 

BREAZE Inc. thanks those teachers who took up the opportunity to make the environment a class conversation and we congratulate all children who were awarded. See our article online for a full list of winners.2023 Writing Comp

BREAZE also participated in another primary school event, ‘Sustainability in Schools Pilot program’, organised by Inga Hamilton of Sustainability Victoria and Natalie Gero, City of Ballarat and held at St James Primary School on I June. Alongside City of Ballarat staff, Daniel Siemensma and Quentin Gay I presented for BREAZE Inc. on the need for a clean energy transition and on the benefits of renewable energy. The presentation was followed by a general discussion in which the children asked questions they had prepared in class beforehand.  Great to see collaborations like this to assist children to become more informed and hopefully more resilient in the face of climate change.




My All Electric Home: the third and final forum in the Building Better Homes for the Future series will be held on 2 July, 2-3:30pm at Mercure Ballarat Hotel and Convention Centre, 613 Main Rd, Golden Point. Screen Shot 2023-06-16 at 15.01.32.png

In this free forum, guest speaker, Lloyd Heathfield of Yarra Energy Foundation will discuss how to build or transition to an all-electric home – the costs, savings and comfort benefits. 

To register:              Or contact: 

20 July: Ballarat Green Drinks – Ronnie Reissenweber, Building Designer, Environ Design

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

Screen Shot 2023 06 16 at 15.56.53Sustainable and energy efficient housing design, are topics we hear a lot nowadays. Not only to save the environment, but also for more comfort in the home, and lower energy bills. Almost everybody is aspiring to achieve it at some level.

Building Designer, Ronnie Reissenweber, from environ design, will try, by using examples and his
experience over 30 years, to explain some of the principles, behind the concepts of environmental conscious design in new build and renovations .

Free book via

May 24: Smart Living Ballarat Zero Plastics Ballarat Adam Slater from Zero Plastics Australia

Venue: BRMC "Welcome Room" at Barkly Square 12:30-1:30 pm

Screen Shot 2023 06 16 at 15.59.50Get inspired for Plastic Free July! Ellen Burns will be speaking with Adam Slater from Zero Plastics Australia about the inventive uses they have found for plastic that can't otherwise be recycled. This session will be interactive, engaging and educational, looking at the impact of plastic waste on our planet and the importance of sustainability and a circular economy. Every attendee to the in-person session will receive a free keyring made from recycled bottle lids! Join in person at the Welcome Room in BRMC at Barkly Square or join the session on line here:

This session will also be 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.


Our next Board meeting will be held on 17 July at 5:30 pm at the Function Room at the Royal Mail Hotel , 290 Albert St,  Sebastopol. Prior to the monthly meeting we will be holding a Special General Meeting to consider and vote on a Special Resolution to introduce a new class of BREAZE membership - BREAZE Business Membership. All BREAZE Inc. members are invited to attend. You will also receive a separate notice about this via our e-newsletter.

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. 

All the best,


Dr Mary Debrett
President, June 2023                                      


Get inspired for Plastic Free July at our next Smart Living Ballarat!

Wednesday June 28th 12:30-1:30pmIn the "Welcome Room" at Ballarat Regional Multicultural Council25-39 Barkly St, Bakery Hill Or join us online (links below)

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We'll be speaking to Adam from Zero Plastics Australia about the inventive uses they have found for plastic that can't otherwise be recycled.
This session will be interactive, engaging and educational, looking at the impact of plastic waste on our planet and the importance of sustainability and a circular economy.
Every attendee to the in-person session will receive a free keyring made from recycled bottle lids!
Or you can join online via Zoom through this link:
It will also be streamed live to the Smart Living Ballarat Facebook page.
Smart Living Ballarat is a series of free monthly workshops, put on in collaboration between BREAZE and the City of Ballarat.
Join host Ellen Burns on the 4th Wednesday of every month to learn new skills for living smarter!

2023 Competition WinnerOn World Environment Day, 5 June 2023, 22 of the 127 grades 5 & 6 primary school students from across greater Ballarat  who had participated in BREAZE Inc's Children's Writing Competition attended the awards ceremony at Sebastopol Library. The City of Ballarat Mayor, Cr Hudson, kindly officiated, presenting the 22 students with certificates and book vouchers, awarded by the judges in  acknowledgement of the quality of their entries addressing this year's World Environment Day theme: Solutions to Plastic Pollution.

Our congratulations to all students – especially to the winner of the First Prize for best entry overall, Riley Baker from Our Lady Help of Christians Primary School, seen here receiving his award from the Mayor.
The five school winners were:
Newington PS:  Allira Moran
OLHC:  Riley Baker
Pleasant St:  Maddie Barclay
St Alipius:     Charlotte Kanoa
St Francis Xavier:  Olena Vallance


There is a video of the children's writing on the BREAZE Inc. Facebook page

Special Mention  certificates and prizes - book vouchers - were awarded to another 17 students:2023   Competition all winners
                • Anna Reynolds
                • Imogen Corcoran
Newington PS
                • Pearl Brewer
                • Jimmy Delacy
                • Will Diamond
                • Luke Simensma
Pleasant St
                • Harry Murphy
                • William Vermey
                • Alfie Roberts
St Alipius
                • Mateo Bozzo
                • Clementine Croucher
                • Isla Petrie
St Francis Xavier
                • Emily Hanrahan
                • Annabelle Chalmers
                • Pearl Nicholson
                • Cooper Downes
                • Isa Jones

There is also an article in The Courier about the Children's Writing Competition and the World Environment Day theme.

2023 BOARDEvery fourth Friday of the month at 10:10 am a BREAZE Board member chats with Ballarat Today Host, Brett McDonald on Radio 3BA, about climate action issues they are passionate about. 

On Friday September the 22nd, Lydia Mzondo will discuss the IPCC process with Brett and what to expect at the next CoP 28 in UAE where an oil Sheik has been chosen to lead the event. And on 27 October, Sue Broadway wspoke about induction cooktops, a great way of cooking and cutting your greenhouse gas emissions.

On 24 November  Mary Debrett will talk abut the City of Ballarat's latest changes to waste collection and on 22 December Peter Reid will talk about Solar Vic's Virtual Power Plant (VPP) pilot that he participated in.

 We hope you are able to catch at least some of these talks. Please forward any thoughts you have on topics we should cover in future talks.



2023 BGD JuneNext up at Ballarat Green Drinks, Scott Denno of Backyard Beekeeping Ballarat, will be talking about Beekeeping and bee-friendly gardens.  Join us for drinks/dinner on Thursday June 15, 6:30-8pm at Bunch of Grapes Hotel, 401 Pleasant St South, Ballarat – great talks followed by audience Q&A.

Amanda Collins and Scott Denno have been beekeeping for the past 10 years after being gifted a honey bee hive from a work colleague. A fortuitous meeting with a retired local commercial beekeeper ignited a passion and appetite for learning that they have never felt before. 

Within a few years and while undertaking formal beekeeper training and education with the NSW Department of Primary Industries, Agriculture Victoria, Marcus Oldham College and Gordon Institute of TAFE the couple increased their hive numbers from their one gifted hive to 50 hives and now manage around 80 honey bee hives in an urban apiary site in suburban Ballarat.

Both Amanda and Scott are foundation members of Ballarat Regional Beekeepers in 2015 and are the founders of social enterprise HiveMind Community Apiary, a community apiary teaching people with lived experiences of mental illness how to care for honey bees hives through the successful annual A Season of Beekeeping Program. 

2023   BGD 18 May 2 2

This month Ballarat Green Drinks is delighted to present An Owner's Review of the BYD Atto 3 by Gavin Cerini on Thursday 18 May 6:30-8pm
This year dubbed the BYD Atto 3 the best value EV under $70,000. It is one of the lowest cost EVs on the Australian market so definitely of much interest at present as those of us with ICE vehicles ponder the possibilities of going electric.
Gavin will be giving a comprehensive review and those who attend the talk will also be able to check out the Atto 3 in the carpark.  Gavin's talk is going to cover all the technical stuff that car enthusiasts rejoice in along with a more generalised overview of the Atto 3's pros and cons based on his five months of ownership. 
Gavin says he has no regrets so expect an enthusiastic review.
Please book to secure your place at the Bunch of Grapes Hotel, 401 Pleasant St South, 6:30-8pm on Thursday 18 May.

CoB 2023/24 Draft Budget

This month the Draft Budget for 23/24 was submitted to Council. The City of Ballarat (CoB) is currently seeking community feedback via MySay Ballarat  on the Ballarat Draft 2023/24 Budget until 5 pm 19 May. BREAZE Inc. believes much more funding needs to be allocated to the Climate Action Program, particularly the Ballarat community-wide 2030 Net Zero Plan- BZE 2030. With less than 7 years left we need to see ambitious action now. We urge you to check out the Draft 2023/24 Budget on MySay Ballarat and complete the survey and make a submission if you can. Make your voice heard. Anyone wanting to cite the urgency for acting on climate change might like to reference this article in The GuardianWorld on the brink of five 'disastrous' climate tipping points - published in September 2022. Since then of course the IPCC's Synthesis Report was released in March this year - there's a good summary of it in this ABC article: IPCC climate scientists issue 'a survival guide for humanity', warning window closing to reduce emissions, by Michael Slezack and Loretta Florance.

If you make an online submission via the MySay Ballarat site you are also eligible to make an oral presentation to Council at an unscheduled meeting on Wednesday 7 June at 6:30pm. 

A quick search online will reveal that many Councils are running Home Electrification Programs, something we believe should also be offered in Ballarat.


The BZE Plan has 50 Actions detailed at the end of the document and while many of these are to implemented by different community sectors, there is also a need for Council leadership here.

As noted in the April President's Report, BREAZE Inc. is part of the BZE Alliance, along with a number of other sustainability and climate action groups keen to work with Council to implement some of the Actions in the Plan. You can read the Plan here

The BZE Alliance is keen to work with Council and other sectors of the community in driving down emissions and is hoping to see more funding allocated to climate action when the final 2023/24 budget is presented to Council in June.

Heat Pump Bulk Buy - CLOSED

The Hot Water Heat Pump Bulk Buy has now closed. If you missed out do not despair. The Victorian Energy Upgrade program offers some rebates that should be checked out. 

EV Bulk Buy Event 6 May

Thanks to great planning by BREAZE Inc. Vice President, Campbell Mercer and a great team of volunteers, the Saturday 6 May EV event organised by BREAZE Inc. at the Ballarat Neighbourhood Centre drew over 100 regional residents keen to learn about EVs and take them for test drives. The event was a collaboration with Hepburn Energy and the Good Car Co . If you missed out you can still book a test drive in a Nissan Leaf in  Ballarat via the Good Car Co website  PLEASE NOTE: the booking schedule is due to be upgraded by 13 May. 


The public forum for residents interested in building more thermally efficient homes, Achieving 7 Stars and Net Zero Homes was held at the Ballaarat Mechanics Institute (BMI) on Sunday April 3, from 1-3pm. The keynote speaker was Jeremy Spencer – Director at design & build company Positive Footprints, founding member of Builders Declare, and current member of  the Design Matters Board, the Sustainability Hub, and the NatHERS Stakeholder Consultative Group. The Forum was booked out with over 120 attending the event in the BMI's Minerva Room. A recording of the event can be found here

For more information about the Forum read the article on the BREAZE website. Great work again by BREAZE Inc. volunteers, Sue Broadway, Pat Hockey, Lydia Mzondo, and Sue Nunn and special thanks to BREAZE Inc. Board member, Sally Missing, the Coordinator of the Building Better Homes for the Future Forums. Another forum is due to be held in coming months. Follow BREAZE Inc. on facebook for updates.

May 18: Ballarat Green Drinks - Gavin Cerini - An Owner's Review of the BYD Atto 3.
6:30-8:00pm, Bunch of Grapes Hotel, 401 Pleasant St, South, Ballarat - Join us for drinks/dinner and great talks and conversation.

This month we have Gavin Cerini giving an owner's review of the BYD Atto 3. Gavin took delivery of his Atto 3 a few month ago and has no regrets he says, but is happy to share the pros and cons. This year dubbed the Atto 3 the best value car under $70,000. Those attending Gavin's presentation will also be able to check out the Atto 3 in the carpark.

Free book via Trybooking:

Volunteer Tree Planting Anyone? Sunday 14 May 2-4, 360 Dobson's Lane Burrumbeet.

Last month's Ballarat Green Drinks speaker, farmer and conservationist, Susan Moodie will be holding a community tree planting session on her land in Burrumbeet and anyone interested is invited to attend. The address is 360 Dobson's Lane, Burrumbeet. Susan says those coming should bring a shovel, sensible footwear and gloves. Volunteers will be rewarded by afternoon tea prepared by Susan. Over many years, Susan has developed wildlife corridors around her property at Burrumbeet, creating habitat for birds and other wildlife. Please email Susan if you are going and include your mobile: <>

May 24: Smart Living Ballarat - 12:30-1:30 pm

On Wednesday May 24 Ellen Burns, host of Smart LIving Ballarat (SLB) will again be sharing her tops tips on beating the Ballarat cold. 'Free ways to stay warm!' was a hit last year so we thought we'd run it again. It's no less cold this year we believe. 

This session will be available to attend in person, with venue yet to be confirmed - please check the SLB Facebook page for details - and will also be livestreamed. Check out the  Smart Living Ballarat Facebook page for our monthly talks.  The recording of the talk will be posted and available to watch, rewatch and share.


With our focus strongly on the Actions detailed in the Ballarat community wide net zero 2030 Plan, the Board will be endeavouring to align as many of our activities as we can with those Actions - helping with and promoting, the electrification of everything, endeavouring to work with Council in assisting locals to access the assistance they need to make this necessary transition. We know electrification, along with home energy efficiency retrofitting, will help to reduce energy bills as well as reduce emissions.

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. Please email and I will forward you link/details. 

All the best


Dr Mary Debrett
President, May 2023                                                  


Screen Shot 2023 05 04 at 11.51.30 amMySay Ballarat is currently seeking feedback on the  Ballarat Draft 2023/24 Budget until 5 pm 19 May. We think much more funding needs to be allocated to the Ballarat community-wide 2030 Net Zero Plan- BZE 2030 - there's less than 7 years left. Check out the Draft 2023/24 Budget on MySay Ballarat. Make your voice heard.

The Ballarat Zero Emissions Plan, passed on 26 October 2022, commits to a community wide net zero emissions target by 2030. The Plan was written in consultation with local stakeholders from industry, commerce and community groups from across the city. It details 50 Actions under five key outcomes:

1. Net Zero Business
2. Net Zero Homes 
3. Net Zero New Developments
4. Net Zero Transport
5. Net Zero Waste

We think the City of Ballarat's Climate Action Program is very good and congratulate Council on endorsing such progressive policies. However, we fear these policies are in the end only as good as the resources allocated to them.

The summary of Environmental Sustainable Initiatives on page 8 of the Draft 2023/24 Budget indicates that $210,000 has been allocated for the Climate Action Program - which includes both the Council's own corporate Carbon Neutrality 100% Renewables Action Plan (with a target of net zero by 2025), AND the community-wide Ballarat Zero Emissions net zero by 2030 Plan. Make no mistake, this is more than some Councils. But it is also a long way short of what we need to meet this target.

We are asking all our BREAZE friends and associates to let Council staff and your ward councillors know what you think about the budget. What do you think should be Council's top priorities in achieving its own self declared number one goal in the four year Council Plan 2021-25: An Environmentally Sustainable Future? (see page 19)

What are the Actions that you would like to see funded? How much do you think the 2023/24 Budget should have allocate to the Plan? Which Actions in the BZE Plan do you think are important?

Australians have had a rough few years now from climate change with numerous extreme weather events - first the Black Summer bushfires and then the floods and now with the shift back to El Nino more dry weather to come - all much more extreme than we have been used to in the past.

We know broadly what we must do, but the community needs leadership and assistance. Let's help Council get this right. The deadline for the MySay public feedback is 5pm 19 May. If you make a submission you are also entitled to appear in person at an unscheduled Council meeting on 7 June 6:30 pm, to talk to councillors about your submission. We think this is a very good opportunity to have a robust and honest discussion about the challenges facing our community as a result of climate change. We thank Council for the opportunity to have input. 

There is also an online information session at which you can meet with Council staff and ask questions about the budget on 9 May 5-6pm. To register email