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Council signs up for energy savings program

Tuesday 25 June 2019

Eurobodalla Council is one of 18 local governments to join a ground-breaking program to help communities save energy and cut power bills run by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH).

The Sustainable Councils and Communities Program is a $1.7 million, four-year pilot program working with 18 councils to help them better understand their energy use.

The program is funded by the NSW Government’s Climate Change Fund to help councils with limited budgets become ‘investment ready’ for energy saving projects that have previously been beyond their reach.

Eurobodalla Council’s sustainability coordinator Mark Shorter said Council had already taken great steps to reduce its energy use and the program would help Council achieve further savings.

“Council has been working on reducing its energy consumption for the past 10 years,” he said.

“We have already installed more than 3,000 solar panels at 28 Council facilities across the shire and 20 per cent of electricity used by Council is sourced from renewable energy.

“We signed up to the OEH Sustainable Councils and Communities Program in November 2018 as we’re always looking for the next opportunity and any support we can get.”

Mr Shorter said work had already started on improving the efficiency and performance of the heating and cooling system at the Moruya administration centre.

“Support from the program has included initial energy audits, a contractor to upgrade the building management system, fine tuning and ongoing analytics,” he said.

“Council itself is funding upgrades to the system including a buffer tank and new chiller controls.

“By working together with OEH on this project, we hope to save around $16,500 in energy costs per year.”

OEH sustainability programs director Mick O’Flynn said other councils in the pilot program included Upper Lachlan, Bega Valley, Eurobodalla, Hay, Balranald, Lachlan, Warren, Coonamble, Liverpool Plains, Cessnock, Maitland, Nambucca, Gwydir, Clarence Valley, Richmond Valley, Kyogle, Fairfield and Campbelltown.

“The program is supporting these 18 councils to identify energy saving projects, get advice from energy experts and upgrade their facilities to save energy and money,” he said.

“There’s a great desire in these local government areas to be part of a sustainable future and this program will provide the support and expert advice to help turn that desire into reality.”