Lunchtime on Monday November 10. Greg Hunt steps outside the government offices to take his constitutional in Melbourne’s Treasury Gardens. Waiting for him is Powershop, with whom he’s agreed to chat about the renewable energy target. Powershop has brought with it a few customers, around 120 or so.
CEO Ben Burge had already announced rules. Be respectful but rigorous. Hustle away hecklers, hustle away haranguers. Speak your mind. Be bold but be brilliant.
The Minister powered off down hill. The crowd frisked around him, pinging questions. The Minister stopped. The people swarmed, in a friendly way. The conversation grew louder.
Do it on the Roof admires Powershop’s style of customer service and we were chuffed to be invited to join the crew.
The Minister and the people spoke of many things, most related to the renewable energy target.
Powershop keeps great company and it was a thrill to be with them. We fell in step with Shaun Scallan of Planet Ark and began planning how to get rooftops growing more trees.
More of this another time. But what, you are asking, what has the RET got to do with green roofs?
The renewable energy target created a market that allowed keen new beans like Powershop to enter the market and provide cheaper electricity to home owners. That’s a good thing, no?
So is the fact that Powershop cares about generating renewable energy efficiently.
When it comes to photovoltaic cells, this means keeping the temperature of the air around your PVs as close to 28 degrees as you can in the summer months. On a conventional roof you are roasting your sweet flesh in temperatures of 50-70 degrees Celsius over much of summer.
Oh no! How do you lower these fiery climes?
Listen, darling. Gardens. Put them on your roof.
Yes, that’s right, gardens are cool, and gardens on roofs are very cool indeed. They keep roofs down at 30 degrees well nigh throughout the year.
As the wise woman says: if you’re going to do it on the roof, get a garden on the roof first, and keep it cool.