Local government has a unique position in Australia to connect climate action strategic plans and implementation within infrastructure, businesses and communities where the real change occurs. Now is the time to maximise this role.
Driving energy efficiency and sustainability and mobilising community energy are all vehicles for councils to achieve this.
Coupled with increased pressure to cost save and increase financial sustainability it seems like a no brainer that councils align the stars (or LED lights as they would appear) and look at how they can begin developing or improving their energy efficiency and sustainability strategies.
By combining strategic and passionate leadership with smart energy efficiency practices councils can save in three key areas:
- Cost- the business case for energy efficiency is stronger than ever driving both long and short term financial sustainability
- Energy consumption – Optimisation and structural change will lessen energy intensive activities. Making the switch to LEDs is the most cost saving measure councils can take today (see workshop A)
- Carbon emissions – investment in large scale community and council solar is the next big move for councils
More and more councils everywhere are searching for ways they can ensure they meet energy efficiency targets and play their part in reaching Australia’s energy productivity goals for 2030.
So who is making smart savings and who is at the forefront of this energy movement?
Adelaide City Council has continued to make its mark as one of the leading energy efficient and sustainable councils in comparison to others in Australia.
This innovative council has announced generous direct incentives for initiatives such as battery solar storage, solar PV, energy upgrades for apartment buildings, LED lights, car battery installation available to city residents, businesses schools and community organisations.
As the South Australian government continue to charge forward working towards a carbon neutral Adelaide the state budget has supported these plans.
In an article from The Fifth Estate Lord Mayor Martin Haese stated, “We are on the cusp of an energy revolution… Just as we capture and store the rain water that falls on our roofs, we can capture the sun’s energy and store it until we need it, making continuous availability of carbon-free renewable energy a reality. Energy storage coupled with renewables is a game changer for the way the world reduces carbon emissions.”
Lord Mayor Haese said responding to climate change was essential for the environmental and economic future of Adelaide.
Adrian Stokes, Program Manager, City Sustainability and Park Lands at Adelaide City Council spoke to us about the initiatives and said:
“Adelaide has been at the forefront in addressing climate change, with a 19% reduction in total carbon emissions since 2007 while the city’s economy has been growing, and this latest initiative by Council aims to keep the City at the cutting edge by embracing early the exciting opportunities from pairing solar with storage.”
So what are the numbers?
The City had reduced its own carbon emissions by 60% and energy consumption by 10.3% since 2009/2010, and the community had cut its emissions by 27%.
The Sustainable City Incentives Scheme will provide:
- Up to $5000 for installing solar PV
- Up to $5000 for installing energy storage
- Up to $500 per electric vehicle charging controller
- Up to $5000 for apartment building energy efficiency upgrades
- Up to $1000 for changing out quartz halogen downlights to LED downlights
The next conference in this series, Funding & Implementing Energy Efficiency & Sustainability, will take place this August. Book your place by June 3rd to save $600!