BREAZE Inc. is again holding its Children’s Writing Competition to celebrate World Environment Day - 5 June 2023. We hope teachers can use the competition as an opportunity for classroom 2023 WEDtalk about the natural environment and why we celebrate World Environment Day and the wider importance of the natural environment and the need to conserve and protect it. Teachers and parents may find the World Environment Day website helpful in talking to children about the topic. This year’s theme is “Solutions to Plastic Pollution."

WHO MAY ENTER: Children in grades 5/6 from primary schools across greater Ballarat.
WRITING TOPIC:     Recommended 50-100 words on: ‘What I can do to help the environment.’
PRIZES: Book vouchers
    • Overall competition winner - $50 book voucher
    • Best entry from every school that submits at least 5 entries - $25 book vouchers
    • Special Mentions as noted by judges - $20 book vouchers
CERTIFICATES:  Presented to all winners and special mentions
AWARDS CEREMONY: Ballarat CBD - venue. In past years, since 2019, the Mayor or Deputy Mayor has kindly officiated and we have had media coverage in The Courier and The Ballarat Times
JUDGING: A panel of BREAZE Inc. members will judge the competition
        • All entries must should fit on one page and include:
        • Student's name, School & Class,
        • Teacher's name & email
        • Email computer file submissions by 5 pm on 19 May to
        • Mail handwritten entries on or before 19 May 2023, addressed to:
Children’s Writing Competition
PO Box 623W
Ballarat West
Victoria 3350




2023 Heat Pump BuyBREAZE Inc. is a community partner in the upcoming Heat Pump Bulk Buy being organised by Hepburn Energy (HE) - formerly Hepburn Wind. The delivery partner is t2zero In 2021 HE ran a pilot Heat Pump Bulk Buy which sold out, so they are  extending their geographical boundaries to include  Ballarat. To find out more: Heat Pump Bulk Buy or  visit the Hepburn Energy Community page here.

- Products included in this bulk-buy
- Subsidies and rebates available 
- The bulk-buy offer & more

The bulk-buy will run for a limited time, closing for orders in late-April, with all installations completed by 30  June.  This is the second time we are running this heat pump bulk buy and for every 30 systems installed, there will be one system installed free of charge for a local community facility! 

So what are heat pumps?
Heat pumps are one of the most efficient technologies we have to heat water and reduce electricity use. With heat pump technology coming in leaps and bounds, there is now a vast array of systems that are much more efficient than their electric or gas counterparts. Not only that, good quality heat pumps often outperform solar hot water. You can learn more via the Renew website here.
What is the benefit for our climate?
The Hepburn Z-NET Community Transition Plan (CTP) highlighted heat pumps as a great opportunity to reduce household electricity use. In 2019, 50% of residents had electric hot water systems, with another 30% using wood or gas. Heat pumps use between 70-80% less electricity than these conventional systems and analysis in the CTP suggested that we could reduce electricity use across the shire by 18% if more residents made the switch.
Why do we need a bulk-buy?
While heat pumps are great for the environment, it can be overwhelming to find and select an appropriate system. This bulk-buy offers a streamlined process that makes it easier to learn about, get a quote, access subsidies and have your system installed by a local qualified person. Learn more here
How do I get involved?
If you’re ready for a quote complete the form here and make sure you include the address and photos of your current system. 

The two information webinars are on Thursday 16 March and Monday 3 April from 6:15-7:15 pm 



 In November 2022 BREAZE Inc. received a grant via the Victorian Government's New Energy Jobs Fund Round 6 (NEJF6) to install 58kW of solar PV across 5 properties owned and operated by Woodbine Inc., a disability provider in Warracknabeal. This is the third grant BREAZE Inc. has received through the New Energy Jobs Fund, which has been running for 6 years. The 5 properties include three accommodation blocks (one in Echuca), an office and workshop.

Vany Gunaratnam, BREAZE Inc Project Manager,  estimates that the solar panels will save Woodbine approximately 30% of its energy costs, funds which will be freed up for its core business, helping people with disabilities and their families. 


The project, like most community energy projects has a bit of a backstory, originating as a feasibility study undertaken in 2019 by the Ballarat Community Power Hub – delivered by Sustainability Victoria from 2017-2020. At the time, network capacity limits stalled the the project's implementation. Re-visited in late 2021 by BREAZE Inc.'s Paul Duggan (Grampians Community Power Hub, Project Control Group) – the Woodbine project got a re-boot on the back of network improvements and the timely announcement of NEF6. Following consultation with Woodbine CEO Bernie O'Connor (left in picture above with Paul Duggan) and Deputy CEO Jo Tobias, BREAZE Inc. submitted an application.  Under the grant, Woodbine Inc and BREAZE Inc. have jointly matched 50% of the NEJF funding ($44,700) from the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA, which recently replaced DLWP).  The Woodbine Solar Project is being managed by a steering group consisting of BREAZE Board members Vany Gunaratnam and Mary Debrett and Woodbine's incoming CEO Jason Minter and Deputy CEO Jo Tobias, who will all meet monthly via Zoom until the project is complete and the contract fulfilled. 

We thank DEECA for this opportunity to work with them again in expanding regional access to renewable energy and cutting GHG emissions – and to all our members for enabling us to do this work via your donations and subscriptions. This project will mean Woodbine has more to invest in its great work in providing services for people with disabilities in Warracknabeal and its environs. 

MD 2023
BREAZE Inc. at Buninyong Smart Living Expo - Sunday 26 February2023 Expo 1

The BREAZE Inc. stall at the Buninyong Smart Living Expo on February 26 at Buninyong Royal Park offered a great opportunity for us to talk about what BREAZE is doing and pass on information about some of our current initiatives.

There has been considerable interest in the Hot Water Heat Pump Bulk Buy which we are partnering in with Hepburn Energy and T2Zero.

And much interest too in the EV Bulk Buy - another partnership with Hepburn Energy via the Good Car Co.  BREAZE Inc. will be holding a Show and Shine Day on 6 May to2023 Expo 2 expand locals' options for more affordable EVs and offer bookable test drives. Watch our social media  for more information

If you are interested in the Hot Water Heat Pump Bulk Buy you can complete the “Ready for a quote” online form:  

You should also attend the webinar for more information on this Hot Water Heat Pump Bulk Buy. The first webinar is on Thursday 16 March. If you miss it, there's a second webinar scheduled for Monday 3 April 6:15-7:15 pm Webinar registration:  

The Climate Safeguard Mechanism

Four BREAZE Inc. Board members met with the Federal Member for Ballarat, Catherine King, to express concerns that proposed changes to the Safeguard Mechanism - a bill currently being debated in parliament - do not go far enough, still permitting the top 200+ industrial emitters covered by the policy, to offset their emissions 100% and still permitting international offsets. We detailed specific requests in line with formal submissions made by the Climate Council and t2023   Catherine King Meetinghe Environmental Defenders Office, regarding no new coal and gas and international offsets. We presented Catherine King with a copy of the 2022 BREAZE Annual Report and The Big Switch, by Saul Griffiths, who is the founder of the Rewiring Australia not for profit oranisation. You can read our letter, summarising our concerns, and thanking Catherine King for meeting with us, here

BREAZE Inc undertook this meeting as part of the #SafeguardOurClimate campaign organised by CAN Australia, who also organised the Dirty Dozen campaign and a social media Day of Action on 10 March.

As noted previously, while signing petitions and meeting with/writing to MPs might not seem very radical, if thousands of ordinary citizens like us do show our concern, it will eventually become hard to ignore us. 

Achieving 7 Stars and Net Zero Homes

The BREAZE Inc subcommittee behind the Building Better Homes for the Future industry forum in October 2022 has two more forums planned for 2023, which will be open to the public. You can book now for the first of these, Achieving 7 Stars and Net Zero Homes presented by Jeremy Spencer at the Ballaarat Mechanics Institute on April 3, 1-3pm. 

Free events coming up this month
  • March 16: Ballarat Green Drinks 6:30-8:00pm -  'Taking back the power' - Peter Reid, Treasurer of CoPower.  Hear about how CoPower redistributes its profits to the community. Bunch of Grapes Hotel, 401 Pleasant St, South, Ballarat - Free book via Trybooking:
  • March 22: Smart Living Ballarat 12:30-1:30 pm - Local architect, Talina Edwards talking about her award-winning "Owl Woods Passive House" in conversation with SLB Host, Ellen Burns.    The Owl Woods house, completed in Trentham in 2019, has been described as an exquisite example of sustainable home design. Owl Woods proves it is possible for a home to be comfortable, sustainable, functional, flexible, healthy and beautiful.  Join live to get inspired and take part in the Q+A with Talina. This session will be held ONLINE only, via Zoom:  It will also be streamed live to the Smart Living Ballarat Facebook page. The recording will then be posted and available to watch, rewatch and share.
BREAZE In. Board Meetings

The BREAZE Inc. Board meets every third Monday of the month from 5:30-7pm. In 2023 the Board has agreed to alternate meetings via Zoom and face-to-face. Our next meeting on 20 March will be held at the Royal Mail Hotel, 290 Albert St, Sebastopol. If you are a member and would like to attend, please email me at  at least one day beforehand.

All the best


Dr Mary Debrett
President BREAZE Inc.

House for ESDHow to build a better home that is cheaper to run, comfortable and more thermally efficient.

Power bills are going up and 7 star ratings for new homes are coming

This free forum presented by Jeremy Spencer of Positive Footprints will walk us through what the big ticket items are and illustrate the benefits and costs of building a carbon neutral home.

Jeremy says: I do think that it's important to explain the 7 star rating and whole of house approach given its release in Vic later in the year. I'll outline how to achieve a great outcome cost effectively. My focus as always is on practical achievable outcomes.

The presentation will be followed by a dynamic hypothetical where building professionals and purchasers get to play out a range of scenarios illustrating the challenges and opportunities presented when wanting to build a more efficient home.

Afternoon tea provided

Presented by Jeremy Spencer Director of Positive Footprints and founding member of Builders Declare.

When: Sunday 23rd April 1.00 -3.00 PM

Where: Ballarat Mechanics Institute, 117-119 Sturt St, Ballarat Central

Cost: Free BOOK on EVENTBRITE  For more information contact

JeremyAbout Jeremy

For almost 20 years Jeremy has been a Registered Builder, Thermal Assessor and Director at design & build company Positive Footprints. Positive Footprints have won multiple awards for sustainability and worked to show that energy efficient sustainable design and high-performance construction is a cost-effective option and can be a mainstream reality. An educator and former GreenLiving lecturer in an earlier life, Jeremy is founding member of Builders Declare, and currently sits on the Design Matters Board, the Sustainability Hub, and the NatHERS Stakeholder Consultative Group.

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Join us in conversation with local architect, Talina Edwards, about her award-winning "Owl Woods Passive House" - an exquisite example of sustainable home design which was completed in Trentham in 2019.
Owl Woods proves that it is possible for a home to be comfortable, sustainable, functional, flexible, healthy and beautiful.
Join us live to get inspired and take part in the Q+A with Talina.
This session will be held ONLINE only, via Zoom.Join the session here:
It will also be streamed live to the Smart Living Ballarat Facebook page.
The recording will then be posted and available to watch, rewatch and share.
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!

EV Bulk Buy

BREAZE Inc. has been invited by Hepburn Energy (formerly Hepburn Wind) to be a community partner in their EV Bulk Buy with the Good Car Company - the second regional Community EV Bulk Buy for Hepburn Shire and the broader region of Central Victoria!

Visit Https:// to find out more.

The Good Car Company, which imports 2nd hand EVs  from Japan (along with New Teslas and Polestars via Novated lease options) will be launching their EV Bulk Buy at the Malmsbury EV Expo on Saturday 15 April.

Later, on May 6th, 2:30 - 4:30pm, a Show and Shine event for the bulk buy will be held in Ballarat – venue yet to be confirmed. There will be 6-8 EVs on display with test drives by arrangement. BREAZE Inc. will be publishing updates on all our social media and via our e-newsletter so please follow us if you want to know more about this event.  Read more about the good Car Company on their website 


The year of the Rabbit 2023, means another year less to reach that much vaunted target of 'net' zero emissions. MDIn October 2022, the City of Ballarat endorsed a Plan to drive implementation of its community-wide Zero Emissions Ballarat (ZEB) 2030 target. With only 7 years left to get GHG emissions reductions on the right trajectory to avoid runaway climate change, we need the support of all BREAZE members & friends in 2023, to drive the BREAZE agenda to cut emissions in our region:

•  Support the ZEB Plan which will be launched in early 2023
•  Work with the City of Ballarat to help to promote the Plan
•  Work with the City of Ballarat to assist in implementing the Plan whenever possible
•  Network with other climate action and environmental groups in raising awareness about the Plan via community engagement across greater Ballarat.
If you're willing to get involved in helping to drive the ZEB 2030 Plan, please let us know. 


BREAZE Inc. at Buninyong Smart Living Expo - Sunday 26 February

BREAZE Inc. will have a stall at the Buninyong Smart Living Expo on February 26 at Buninyong Royal Park - 10am-3:30pm. Please drop by for a chat and find out more about what you can do to help drive the ZEB target.

Membership Drive

As you may know, BREAZE membership plays a key role in covering the operating costs of BREAZE Inc. – public liability insurance (that covers our various programs and the affiliated groups who contribute so much to building a sustainable community: Ballarat Repair Cafe, Buninyong Boomerang Bags and Ballarat Tool Library), plus other administrative, software and auditing costs. If you support what BREAZE does but haven't yet officially signed up you can do this:

The Dirty Dozen Campaign and the Climate Safeguard Mechanism

Despite devasting extreme weather events that have raged across the globe in the past few years, much of society appears to remain in business-as-usual mode.  As evidenced by flooding, bushfires and record temperature extremes – confirming decades of warnings from climate scientists – climate change calls for considerably greater ambition. This is not a time to be 'relaxed and comfortable' - John Howard's once stated aspirations for the nation. Please join us in being 'concerned and engaged' – in driving changes for a safe environment. We need to make the Dirty Dozen big polluters pay.

We hope this is an issue you are interested in supporting – the push for a tougher Climate Safeguard Mechanism – an important policy lever which is currently under review. What 'net' means and how legal 'offsets' are defined are also part of this issue. To find out more: 

Signing petitions and writing to MPs might not seem very radical but if thousands of ordinary citizens like us do show our concern, it will eventually become hard to ignore us. 

BREAZE Social Solar

In 2023 BREAZE Inc. will be project managing the Woodbine Solar Project, installing 58 kW of rooftop solar across five properties owned by Woodbine Inc., a disability services provider in Warracknabeal. This project is jointly funded by BREAZE Inc., Woodbine Inc. and a grant from the Victorian government's New Energy Jobs Fund Round 6, now administered by the newly named Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA) - DELWP is no more!

Free events coming up this month

  • February 16: Ballarat Green Drinks- 6:30-8:00pm, Bunch of Grapes Hotel - Solar Citizens e-Ute Roadshow and talk on Fuel Efficiency standards and clean transport options - book via Trybooking:
  • February 22: Smart Living Ballarat- 12:30-1:30 pm Barkly Square - Democratising Community Energywith Renewable Newstead's Don Culvenor - It will also be live streamed at
  • February 26: Buninyong Smart Living Expo- 10:00am-3:30pm Royal Park Buninyong -

The BREAZE Inc. Board meets every third Monday of the month from 5:30-7:00pm - sometimes via Zoom and sometimes face-to-face. If you are a member and would like to attend, please email me at //">

All the best,


Dr Mary Debrett
President, December 2022                                                     


Building Better Homes for the Future Forum Recording is now available!

In October BREAZE held a very well attended industry forum to discuss how new housing in Ballarat can be built in a more sustainable way.  A robust discussion of the opportunities and barriers was explored on the night, including practical ways to source and use more sustainable materials, and ways in which the planning process can help or impede building housing that is more sustainable. One of the key messages that came out of the forum was the need to educate the community about what is needed to make our homes more sustainable. In November local architect Matthew Turner presented at the Ballarat Green Drinks session on: “The Future of Home: Sustainable, Accessible, Affordable” at the Lake View Hotel.  More forums on Building Better Homes are planned in 2023 - watch this space for details.

Enjoy viewing these excellent presentations at your leisure. 

Paul is a practising architect and Honorary Principal Fellow at the University of Melbourne School of Architecture and Building. He helped steer environmental and architectural outcomes for Mullum Creek - a peri-urban eco-housing development in Donvale Victoria that has generally been considered best practice sustainable development. 

Bradley Hall’s presentation 
Bradley is the Group Managing Director of Chatham Homes he has a Master of Entrepreneurship and Innovation from Swinburne University and as you will probably guess from this, he likes to shake things up. He has a passionate interest in driving change in the building industry with a focus on environmental sustainability, climate resilience and health. 

Joseph van Dyk’s presentation
Joseph is a Director of regional-focused developer Hygge Property and has nearly 20 years’ property development experience in Australia and the UK, specialising in residential and mixed-use led developments for private . His presentation focuses on the development principles used by Hygge which aim to be ahead of standards/requirements.  Including:  Design-led development, Sustainability in brownfield locations, using 100% green power and no reticulated gas; Housing diversity, Energy efficiency and alternative transport. 

Natalie Robertson's Presentation 
Natalie is the City of Ballarat Director of Development and Growth.  Natalie has an extensive background in Statutory and Strategic Planning, Regulatory
Services and many major projects related to economic growth and development. Natalie has a Graduate Diploma in Urban, Rural and Regional Planning and is studying a Master of Business Administration. Natalie’s presentation focuses on how the City of Ballarat is moving towards more sustainable buildings and a net zero future.

Panel discussion - all presenters

Facilitated by Nick Grylewicz, Integra's Director of Land Development