The Uralla Community Day formed part of the first ‘on-site intensive’ which involved a full 5 days of business energy assessments, community events, presentations and discussions with Council and ZURG, a business breakfast plus technical and strategy discussion with Z-NET governing body members and other key regional stakeholders.
The Community Day comprised a range of educational displays and presentations about the project, as well as discussions and a survey to identify preferred options.
More than 100 people attended throughout the day and there was regional television coverage of the official opening for the event.
The Project Team were well received by the local community, businesses and key stakeholders. There was visible support shown for the approach taken with community engagement, technical assessment and the overall communication of concepts.
The on-site intensive provided a key opportunity for the Technical Team to test their desktop assumptions, baseline data and options to get a stronger on-the-ground understanding of energy uses, need, resources and constraints as well as a range of feedback on the desired directions.
The project team ran two home energy efficiency workshops as part of the Community Day. The workshops focused on easy behaviour change opportunities around the home and simple retrofit opportunities.
Given the cold climate in Uralla much of the discussion centred around ways to improve the thermal fabric of people’s homes through measures such as draught proofing and insulation as well as the most cost effective forms of heating. Residents were also very interested in solar power and the potential of incorporating battery storage.
Many of the residents who attended the workshops had already made a start on improving the comfort of their homes.
A Community Feedback Session was held on the final night of the On-site Intensive. This provided an opportunity for the Technical Team to reflect back the major outcomes from their engagement and work as well as discuss the priorities moving forwards into the final stage of work on the Blueprint and Business Case.