New video features school students engaging with future energy options

Image to illustrate Wattwatchers blog post about video of Heyfield State Primary School


Wattwatchers is proud to be deployed in well over 1000 Australian schools, including hundreds with leading ‘energy and education’ specialists Solar Schools, one of our long-standing Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) integration partners.

A new short film showcases Wattwatchers at work with Solar Schools at the Heyfield State Primary School in country Victoria, and features the solar-powered school’s principal, Vellada Bradford, and a number of its students.

The local state school in the historic timber town of Heyfield was signed up for a Solar Schools ‘Energy Hero’ package through the Heyfield MyTown Microgrid feasibility project, which is wrapping up on June 30 after three years.

Wattwatchers’ Program Manager Tim McCoy also appears in the 4.5-minute film, as does school parent and MyTown community liaison officer Emma Birchall.

Wattwatchers co-leads the MyTown project alongside the Heyfield Community Resource Centre (HCRC) and the University of Technology Sydney Institute for Sustainable Futures (UTS ISF).

The Heyfield school also hosts one of three community public displays for the MyTown project, with others located at the local post office and the HCRC.

Curriculum-aligned energy educational tools

The special three-year ‘Energy Hero’ package featured in another major Wattwatchers project, My Energy Marketplace (MEM), which is enabled by grant funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA)*.

The package includes the teacher-led gamification tool Planet Watch, which engages students in energy and environmental data, and the wider Solar Schools program aligns with national school curriculum materials.

Heyfield has become Australia’s unofficial ‘energy data town’, with nearly 15% of its 700+ households installed with Wattwatchers smart energy monitoring under either the MyTown or MEM projects, as well as over a dozen local businesses and two schools.

MyTown is funded by a $1.75 million grant through the Australian Government’s Regional and Remote Community Reliability Fund (RRCRF), plus $100,000 from the Victorian State Government’s Latrobe Valley Authority (LVA).

Local energy solution options

Project outputs from the MyTown feasibility study are being presented at a Town Hall-style community event in Heyfield this Friday evening, June 2, and cover a range of local energy solution options for the town’s energy future.

The MyTown project also has wider relevance for community energy, as one of its major legacies will be an online decision-support tool for local communities everywhere, supporting them to explore and make choices for their energy futures.

MyTown’s Emma Birchall is representing the project at an all-day community forum in Bendigo, being run by the Centre for New Energy Technologies (C4NET) on Monday, June 5. The event is called ‘Community Energy Transformers’.

The MEM also wraps up on June 30, after three-and-a-half years, with Wattwatchers being deployed at nearly 5000 homes and small businesses around Australia, and about 100 schools. Brisbane-based Solar Schools has been a MEM partner from the outset in 2019.

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The My Energy Marketplace project is receiving funding from ARENA as part of ARENA’s Advancing Renewables Program. The views expressed herein are not necessarily the views of the Australian Government, and the Australian Government does not accept responsibility for any information or advice contained herein.