Of Dogs and Deep Freezers

Can we talk about the freezer for a minute?  So, we live on a farm, some 20km from town. Have to have a decent sized deep freezer, right? Got to have lots of food on hand, right? Never know who might rock up for anything from a cuppa through to a three night stay. You get the picture.

But really, I have been thinking, how much of that freezer space do I use?  Really use? All the time? The answer is not much. Continue reading


So today I’m in Daylesford at a regional community renewable energy conference. The professional part of me is happy and excited to be here to reconnect with clever people from clever communities who are rolling forward with big ideas in community owned renewables.

The social beast in me is so happy to be in a little town, no bigger than #narrandera WITH 

  • cafes open all day on weekend
  • Local food in small stores
  • An EV charger outside the town hall
  • Small artesian studios in odd corners in laneways
  • Fantastic approachable range of accommodation
  • A WINE bar with food at night

As a result of all of the above and no doubt more the local economy is booming. I’d love to have time to post a case study but now I have to listen to my peers on getting our towns onto a path of sustainability and locally owned community energy. 

Learn to love your timer

Got rooftop solar and wondering what next? While it would be ideal for us all to be able to afford battery storage straight up, they are still very costly for the average household. It would be pretty amazing if some of our state or federal leaders could see their way clear to a rebate or tax deduction on domestic energy storage, but I’ll keep that for another blog. This one is about what you can do today for free to start to maximise your savings with your solar. And it’s all about timing.Timer

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Breaking down the language

As a writer I have worked for years in that part of the paddock, river, forest, town, coast that lies between the scientists, engineers, ecologists, environmentalists, agronomists, geologists (generally geeks, greenies and tech-heads)* and all the rest of us.  All this time using words to move new knowledge as clearly  (and gently) as possible into the public domain. Fun, frustrating, challenging and constantly involving me having to chomp down on science or knowledge that’s initially way beyond me. As you can imagine there have been hits and misses along the way. Fortunately scientists of all people forgive failures most nobly. After all, science is built on failures.

Hopefully that background is going to help me write this blog, meet deadlines and chomp down on a little bit of technology to deliver knowledge and news about renewable energy, and possibly pop a few myths that bubble up in places they shouldn’t – like the mainstream media, out of politicians’ mouths and from corporates with vested interests.

It is so exciting to see the grass roots movement towards renewable energy in Australia – and seeing states and territories like the ACT, Victoria and South Australia making big policy steps and moving huge obstacles to realise that future. What we are going to do here is look at that transition from a householder’s perspective and break down some of the concepts, look at products on the market for householders, and break the language barrier!

So, over the next few weeks I am going to tackle some of the terms for household solar energy, energy storage and batteries, smart products. Having a good grasp of the concepts and language will help us all make informed decisions about fitting renewable energy into our lives. This is my journey too, and I’m learning as I go. But, I figure I might as well use some of the skills I have to share what I find out with really anyone else who is interested.

(And when I do get my head around Elon Musk’s Hyper Loop mass transit idea I’ll share that too. For now it’s on my bucket list)


*Happy to report that there are fewer beards amongst this lot these days, because there are sooooooooo many more women in the field since when I started. Yay!



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