Cities Are Critical for Threatened Wildlife
Over 500 of Australia's threatened species have populations living in cities and Australian cities can help to conserve these endangered animals and plants, say environmental scientists from the Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED). New research shows that our cities still have a remarkable number of threatened species, and that all cities and towns contain species that are officially listed as threatened. Sydney has the most, at 126 species...More

More Trees Help Birds Survive Droughts
Increasing tree cover, particularly on the sides of streams and on floodplains, can help birds to survive during long and severe droughts, says Charles Sturt University ecologist, Dr Dale Nimmo. In a clear message to rural property owners and governments, he says his team's research is timely as climate scientists have observed El Nino is now strengthening to levels not seen since the 1997-1998 event that was the precursor to the Millennium Drought. More

New Town May Be Energy-Independent
An investigation by Brookfield Energy Australia may enable the new Huntlee residential development in the NSW Hunter Valley to be built off-the-grid and powered by renewable energy. Huntlee, developed by LWP Property Group, will be the first new town in the Hunter Valley in 50 years and will house 20,000 new residents in 7,500 homes. More

Defending Urban Sanctuaries
The Total Environment Centre (TEC) has launched a campaign and a DIY toolkit to help communities defend and preserve Sydney's parks and green spaces a situation which TEC's executive director Jeff Angel says is urgent. More


Solar Harvesting at Royal Botanic Gardens
The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney has installed a 24 kW solar energy system that will provide a quarter of its energy and save it about $7,000 per year. More

Office Trust to Make Buildings Sustainable
Real estate fund manager EG Funds Management is establishing an unlisted $400 million wholesale fund with a portfolio of sustainable office buildings and has secured the Clean Energy Finance Corporation as a cornerstone investor for up to $125 million. More

Investing in Home Insulation Saves Money
Australian homes have poor thermal insulation so there is plenty of room for improvement, says Energy Freedom, a group of leading renewable energy and energy efficiency companies and organizations. In fact, Australian homes are among the world's worst when it comes to draughts and money wasted on inefficient heating and cooling. More

Finance for Building and Energy Upgrades
Property owners are among the winners from a new $120 million program that can help to significantly reduce energy costs in buildings. The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) is providing the capital through the National Australia Bank (NAB) to encourage businesses to cut their energy and operating costs and lift business performance. More

Panasonic Home Battery and Storage Trials
Panasonic has launched a Residential Storage Battery System and set up pilot projects with energy retailers ActewAGL, Snowy Hydro's Red Energy and Ergon Energy to install the battery in homes with solar power. More




Councils Save with LED Lighting
Switching to LED street lighting is expected to save Australia's local councils up to $87 million and prevent 720,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions from entering the atmosphere each year, according to the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia (IPWEA). More

Asbestos Awareness Month
November is Australia's national Asbestos Awareness Month, a campaign that urges Australians to ‘Get to kNOw Asbestos this NOvember' and to ‘Stop Playing Renovation Roulette'. At least 1 in 3 Australian homes contain asbestos, and asbestos may be present in any home including brick homes built before 1987. More

App for Solar Panel Efficiency
Solar panel installers and buyers now have a mobile phone app that allows them to easily optimize the performance of a new solar PV system. Exemplary Energy's PV_OptiMizer is an evaluation app for small to medium sized PV installations. The mobile phone or other device is simply laid on the roof and it responds to the orientation and tilt of the phone to calculate the solar PV output of panels installed with that geometry. More

Increasing the Urban Tree Canopy
Hobart has the highest proportion of tree canopy cover - 56 per cent - to other kinds of ground cover among Australia's capital cities, while Adelaide has the lowest proportion of tree canopy at 27 per cent. Brisbane has 43 per cent tree coverage, Sydney 36 per cent, Melbourne 34 per cent and Perth 31 per cent. Perth has the most shrub coverage at 13 per cent and Melbourne the least at 4 per cent. More

Land Corridors Getting Longer
Private land owners are playing an increasingly important role in helping to grow and connect Australia's land conservation estate and wildlife corridors. Some recent example are biodiversity hotspots in Western Australia and Victoria and wildlife reserves in Canberra. Greening Australia and the Alcoa Foundation have launched their One Million Trees Project to plant more than one million trees south of Perth and in western Victoria over the next three years. More

Restoring River Catchments
Environmental scientists are urging Australians to support the rescue of endangered and other river wildlife through the restoration of catchments and river banks, especially in cities. Freshwater wildlife is suffering from a ‘double whammy' of climate change and urbanization – but there are several ways the public and landholders can come to the rescue of imperiled species, says research at the National Environmental Research Program's Environmental Decisions Hub (NERP EDH). More

Urban Design and Heat Waves
Insulation, passive solar building design, heat reducing urban planning, and air conditioners for high-risk groups are likely to reduce deaths during heatwaves. In Australia heatwaves have a greater negative impact on population health than any other natural hazard, says a report by Monash University and the National Climate Change Adaption Research Facility. More

LEDs Can Slash Your Total Lighting Wattage
LED lighting has arrived and it can slash the power needed to light your property. In my case, I’ve just reduced the total lighting wattage for our home by two thirds - from 3,144 Watts to 1,033 Watts. The reduction in the high use areas such as kitchen, dining, lounge and bedrooms is even more dramatic - from 2,825 Watts to 735 Watts or 74 per cent. More





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