Welcome to the website of the Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust (BRCT).
We are proud to have Jeanette Fitzsimons, CNZM as our patron.
We work on creating local climate solutions together. We work on projects to both reduce greenhouse gas emissions and projects to build resilience as we adapt to our changing climate. We work to build connections and climate action. Our company, Blueskin Energy Limited, works to establish local renewable generation embedded in the local grid. We want to make what is commonplace in other countries possible in New Zealand and help achieve 100% renewable electricity generation. Our Climate Safe House project is a about adapting to climate impacts.
BRCT is an IRD approved charitable trust formed in 2008 working in a planned and structured way. We offer practical services, provide key support, have robust resources, lead innovative projects and provide expert advocacy. Check out our projects below and our success stories at the bottom of this page.
Cosy Home Assessments and Healthy Rental Certification
• Dunedin's non-profit helping residents and landlords improve Dunedin homes with practical information and certification. We examine, analyse and report to help investment and to assist with compliance. Our work supports the Cosy Homes Trust.
• We offer discounted quality insulation.
• We organise bulk sales of logs to be processed for firewood.
• 1121 Mt Cargill Rd, RD2 Waitati, Dunedin 9085
• Telephone: 03 4822048
Current Project News in 2018 - May/June
Blueskin Energy Network
The Blueskin Energy Network (BEN) is about our local electricity. As a member of the Blueskin Energy Network, you can use cleaner, community-oriented, cheaper power and be rewarded for taking action. While the heart of the Blueskin Energy Network is right here in Blueskin Bay, the service extends from Blueskin Bay to Shag Point; beyond the Silverpeaks to Ranfurly and Middlemarch; and to the south including Beaumont and Owaka. Yes, that’s a mighty area of our local electricity network owned by PowerNet. Note – it doesn’t include the urban part of Dunedin City which receives electricity from the Aurora Network.
BEN has been established by Blueskin Energy Ltd (BEL) a charitable company owned by the Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust. Customers join BEN by signing up online.
We are very proud of this initiative. Democratising our electricity supply has been part of BRCT’s mission since our establishment in 2008, and now we have been able to deliver a significant part of that puzzle.
Now, through BEN, local electricity generation can be shared to benefit others within the local network. That means you don’t need to have solar panels or a small wind turbine to get the benefit from those renewable generation assets – you can buy the electricity from the neighbours who have these assets but can’t or don’t use all of the electricity they produce. That electricity can be supplied to those who join at a cheaper rate than normal. It’s a system that will also provide feedback that can help to influence our behaviour. What’s the best time to do the washing or charge the car? Small changes in our behaviour can easily reduce the need for the 20% of coal/gas generated electricity the country still relies upon. This is all possible by working with our partners P2power (service provider) and PowerNet (network owner). Together we can innovate and reduce how much people pay for their electricity (i.e. the total bill falls as people get credits from the savings of using greener energy or energy at times when supply costs are less).
From the Office
BRCT made a lengthy submission on the Council’s draft Long Term Plan in April and spoke on two occasions to it. While we had a lot to say about preparing for climate impacts in general, the main part of our submission was on Blueskin Bay.
We do not want Blueskin Bay and all the settlements out here to simply become a commuter suburb of Dunedin, with residents dependent on high emission transport to get to work in town and then back to sleep. We want to develop opportunities for local employment (particularly in environmental and climate action) and to prepare and adapt to climate impacts.
We asked for resourcing to ensure scoping and vulnerability studies of our transport network and our waste water infrastructure could be completed, and we sought resourcing to develop climate safe housing so that we can maintain a vibrant and cohesive community rather than watch as residential zones descend into climate ghettos.
If you want to make a donation to assist our work follow the link or email BRCT at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Donate using internet banking via the website. Donations are tax deductible so please make sure we have your name and address and can thank you!
While we advocate for greater climate action and to build community resilience, we also walk the talk. To that end, we have been working on the Climate Safe House project intensively over the past month as we bring partners and sponsors on board. It is still hard, despite a new Government that is taking climate change seriously, to actually resource practical action and there is always the chance that our work will be stalled by lack of resource. But we keep pushing, as climate change really is our ‘nuclear free moment’ as the Prime Minister is quoted as saying. That means we must work together to create local and national climate solutions. The signs are good: the Productivity Commission has released a draft report in April on how New Zealand should transition to a low-emissions economy. “Major changes will be needed” Murray Sherwin, Chair of the Productivity Commission said. This is big picture stuff, ensuring the policy environment is right, helping the interim Climate Change Committee get started, and oiling the machinery of government so that everything moves in the right direction. As it says, “the strategy for New Zealand involves replacing fossil-fuels, where feasible, with clean electricity together with substantial land use change”. There’ll be support for large scale forestry and significant growth in horticulture.
We like to hear from you, particularly if you support our mahi (work). There are many ways to get involved, whether it is help with the preparation of submissions or demolition work on an unsafe house prior to the positioning of a climate safe housing, or something else entirely.
Adapting our society to our changing climate is too big a job for Government alone. It requires wide and rich community participation in developing solutions and we aim to ensure that residents have access to climate safe shelter as its gets wetter, windier and wilder and as existing services are put under increasing stress.
Our Successes in 2017
2018 may well be the year New Zealand gets serious about adapting to our changing climate.
Last year, and the start of this one, gave all of us plenty of opportunities to experience a future in which creeping sea level rise and extreme weather – from drought to flood to surprise storm surges – make day-to-day life more precarious and more expensive.
Last year’s various high-level climate change reports also made us increasingly aware of the roadblocks to effective decision-making around climate adaptation (the Adapting to climate change in New Zealand: Stocktake report, from the Climate Change Adaptation Technical Working Group; the Coastal hazards and climate change guidance published by the Ministry for the Environment; and the Human health impacts of climate change for New Zealand report produced by Royal Society Te Apārangi are three examples).
If you are interested in helping out, making a donation or sponsoring some part of the project, please be in touch via the Trust office. Tel: 03 4822048 / email: email@example.com
We have many people and businesses to thank for supporting BRCT so far (see our supporters page).