Home Energy Efficiency

To achieve our goal of being powered by 100% renewables by 2030 and as we move to change how we power our towns, we need to simply reduce the amount of power we use.

The research based Good Power People roadmap report, commissioned by S.O.S to explore Apollo Bay's renewable energy transition, states that energy efficiency schemes could help reduce energy use by 30-50%.

As part of its goal to foster, promote and support the local community to reduce power use, reduce power bills and reduce CO2 emissions S.O.S invited the Apollo Bay community to its inaugural Home Energy Efficiency Forum.

Home Energy Efficiency Forum - 19 May 2021

Funded by a Colac Otway Shire Community Grant, the Forum invited two experts to present different aspects of the urgent need to reduce our carbon emissions and how some of this task can be achieved by lowering our use of electricity by using it more efficiently.

This well-attended meeting was to start the community conversation about local householders taking energy efficiency measures to reach our community's target of being 100% renewable by 2030.

The two expert guest speakers were Mr Alan Pears AM (pioneer of energy efficiency policy and Fellow at the Climate and Energy College, University of Melbourne) and Ms Andrea Pape (Sustainability Victoria). They shared their expertise and experience in making Victorian homes more energy efficient.

They were followed by a Q&A panel with the two guest speakers and local leaders, including Colac Otway Shire Councillors Graham Costin and Stephen Hart and S.O.S chairman Matt Armstrong, who responded to audience questions.

Participants at the Forum learnt how to apply energy efficiency strategies to their own home, supported by current evidence-based data and practical advice.They were also invited to signup for an 'expression of interest' to have a professional energy efficiency assessment of their home.

If you were unable to attend the forum on the night or you were there and wanted to refresh your memory of something interesting you heard, we recorded it all for you to watch at home. Click on the following links to view extended extracts:

Andrea Pape from Sustainability Victoria

Alan Pears

Community Panel Q&A

Home Energy Efficiency Assessment - Case Studies

Out of its successful Home Energy Efficiency Forum conducted in May 2021 S.O.S gathered Expressions of Interest from a number of local home owners who were keen to have a professional home energy efficiency assessment conducted on their houses.

Colac Otway Shire supported the S.O.S application for some funding to conduct a Home Energy Assessment Project, a small pilot of seven houses that would be assessed and reported on to the wider community as case studies.

The first objective was to see what challenges local home owners faced in making their house more energy efficient and how a professional assessment and practical advice could help them make improvements.

The second objective was to publish the seven case studies into the broader community to further promote understanding of common causes and solutions to energy inefficiencies in our homes, and to foster more uptake of energy efficiency practices and home improvements.

S.O.S engaged home energy efficiency consultant and assessor Mr Richard Keech to conduct the seven assessments. Richard is an experienced engineer, with Masters degrees in both Engineering (Electronics), and Environment (Energy Efficiency). He has hands-on experience delivering in-home efficiency assessments for over 500 homes in Victoria over six years. He is the author of 'The Energy Freedom Home' (Scribe, 2015) on retro fitting homes to be efficient and all-electric.

Richard conducted a practical workshop on 'How to make your home more energy efficient' for the local community on the evening of 10 November 2021. In conducting the assessments over three days he was assisted by S.O.S volunteer Mr David Brown who recorded each assessment visit and the assessor's recommendations, and then provided a written report for each of the participating households. Photographs and video footage were also captured at each assessment.

To share the stories and lessons from these home energy assessments, and with the approval of the consultant and home owners, S.O.S has used the Assessment Reports, photos, and videos to develop and publish seven Case Studies. Post-assessment, Follow-up Conversations with case-study households six months after the event have been developed by S.O.S volunteer Jenny Barrett to identify further insights from this pilot project.

To access the seven Case Studies, including two of these as video stories, and the Follow-Up Conversations, please click on the link.


In conducting this project Southern Otways Sustainable Inc gratefully acknowledges the support and assistance of Colac Otway Shire and the seven Apollo Bay households who have generously shared their home energy efficiency stories.

Energy Efficiency Help

Sustainability Victoria’s Small Business Energy Saver Program provides generous bonuses to eligible businesses to reduce their energy costs.

The program is open to small (non-agricultural) businesses operating out of commercial premises, with less than 20 FTE staff. Check out the eligible upgrades and bonuses for different business sectors here.

Businesses can organise an upgrade today by calling one of the Accredited Providers listed.

Contact Us

Any questions or if you want to become more involved with the SOS Energy Efficiency team please email us at southernotwayssustainable@gmail.com and include ‘Energy Efficiency Team’ in the subject line of your email.

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