Past, Present, Future
In 2006 floodwaters cut through Waitati damaging houses, infrastructure, crops and livestock. Yet the flood also gave us cause to celebrate, as we discovered just how strong the social networks that make up our larger Blueskin community really were. Later in 2006 a community visioning workshop set out a number of community goals, all centred around the idea of a managed 'Energy Descent' and/or the responsibility to adapt to Energy Descent.
In 2007, we began working to boost our communities’ control over energy use, energy supply and energy type. The belief that low electricity prices and a reliable supply will continue in our changing world is, we believe - misplaced. We are not content to wait for the government and local authorities to wake up to this reality. So we took the initiative and took action.
Our vision is to facilitate a positive, healthy, secure and resilient future for the communities of Blueskin Bay. This process has had three broad elements:
1. increase energy literacy (2007 - on going)
2. home energy effectiveness (2009 - on going)
3. renewable generation (2009 - on going)
The BRCT is currently working on several projects which address each of these different elements both within Blueskin Bay but also in the greater Dunedin area:
- Community Energy Advice – Our 2013 project in Pine Hill is increasing the energy literacy and home energy effectiveness;
- Solar Project – Facilitating the bulk purchase and installation of solar electric (PV) and hot water (thermal) systems;
- Blueskin Wind Cluster – Working to establish a community wind generation project which will produce approximately the same amount of electricity used by Blueskin residents each year.
It is estimated that approximately 47% of households in Dunedin suffer from ‘fuel poverty’. Many homes have recorded temperatures ranging between 8 - 10°C .
BRCT believes that this situation is unacceptable and is advocating for a city wide ‘Cosy Home Project’ to ensure that every Dunedin home is warm and cosy.
Actions BRCT is taking to assist the delivery of cosy Dunedin homes:
- Build a durable free community energy advice service [contact us if you are interested in contributing to or assisting this work]
- Train Energy Practioners to provide home energy audits in the community
- Run a 'Cosy Homes' workshop in 2013, with all stakeholders with the aim of uniting the city around a single vision for Dunedin households.
 Howden-Chapman et al, 2011 Tackling cold housing and fuel poverty in New Zealand: A review of policies, research, and health impacts, Energy Policy, Volume 49, October 2012, Pages 134-142,