Greenhouse Action Plan pays off
Eurobodalla Shire Council’s greenhouse gas emissions are down and its energy bills have been slashed by more than $1 million a year.
A report presented to councillors on Tuesday detailed progress on Council’s award-winning Greenhouse Action Plan, which lists 74 practical actions to reduce Council’s total greenhouse gas emissions by 25 per cent by 2020.
Council is on track to meeting its target with positive environmental outcomes and healthy financial savings achieved over the past year.
Council’s building emissions are down 36 per cent from the 2005-6 baseline, saving ratepayers an estimated $338,000 in energy costs each year, thanks to energy-efficient lighting upgrades, solar pool heating and blankets, insulation and draught sealing and solar power on Council halls and facilities.
Emissions are set to reduce further as Council recently secured federal government funding to collect and destroy methane gas from the Surf Beach Waste Management Facility – saving an estimated to 5,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.
Streetlight emissions are also down 14 per cent and an LED street lighting upgrade scheduled for 2016-17 is expected to save another 450 tonnes of CO2 and $140,000 in energy and maintenance costs annually.
Twenty per cent of electricity used by Council is now sourced from renewable energy thanks to the more than 2500 solar panels across 25 Council facilities.
Mayor Liz Innes said Council’s Greenhouse Action Plan was delivering fantastic results for the community.
“Council has learnt that embedding sustainability throughout the organisation results in better outcomes, not just for the environment but economic and social benefits too,” she said.
“Last year alone we saved over 5,100 tonnes of carbon dioxide, which is like taking more than 1,400 cars off the road.
“I congratulate staff on their progress to date. Our win at the 2015 Local Government NSW Excellence in the Environment Awards shows that Council is a leader in this field and it’s something the whole community feel pride in.
“In the years ahead we will continue to pursue opportunities to operate more efficiently to minimise the organisation’s environmental impact and ultimately save ratepayers’ money.”
The Greenhouse Action Plan’s 74 actions cover all aspects of Council operations, including community, sustainable transport, energy efficiency, street-lighting, fleet, leadership, planning, renewable energy and waste. Media Release