Blue Mountains Posts

Win, Win for Council's Carbon Reduction Projects

By Blue Mountains City Council
Posted: 17 Jan 2021
Council's Waste and Sustainability Program Leader Rob Morrison and Infrastructure Project Management Officer Phil Regan at Katoomba Sports and Aquatic Centre, when solar panels were installed in August 2020.
Reducing Council's carbon emissions to zero by 2025 makes great environmental and financial sense and two of Council's latest carbon reduction projects are helping to achieve that goal.

The recent street light upgrade to LEDs and solar panel installation at Council sites have out-performed their original estimates - both for reducing carbon emissions and reducing electricity consumption.

In the first six months, the solar panels installed across five large council sites have generated a significant saving of $31,200 in power bills. This is 50% higher than originally estimated. The switch to solar power has also reduced Council's emissions by 160 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e).

The second round of street light upgrades, completed towards the end of 2020, targeted 36% of streetlights in the Blue Mountains. So far the project has seen a very positive 32% reduction in monthly electricity consumption. Using the first four months of data, this puts Council on track to reduce emissions by 759 tCO2e and achieve $163,000 of savings over the year.

Overall, both projects will deliver $225,000 of combined annual energy savings for Council and reduce carbon emissions by 1,080 CO2e. Over the next 20 years, the total energy savings is estimated at a staggering $4.5 million, (assuming static electricity prices) and a huge cumulative reduction of 21,580 tonnes of CO2e being released into the atmosphere.

Mayor Mark Greenhill said: "Not only does it benefit the environment to reduce emissions wherever possible, but it makes great financial sense. A real win, win in our minds."

BMCC Chief Executive Officer Dr Rosemary Dillon said: "This provides the impetus we need to prioritise other opportunities to reduce emissions in line with our target of carbon neutrality by 2025 - minimising Council's environmental impact and saving money in the long term."  

Savings for households

It's a quick win for households to upgrade to LED lighting too. Check the NSW Government Energy Saver website website for info on their discounted energy efficient lighting program.

Also the NSW Governments Empowering Homes program has been expanded to Blue Mountains postcodes, helping local home owner's access interest-free loans to install solar battery systems.

If you don't need a solar battery system, solar panels are being subsidised by the NSW Government through the Small Scale Renewable Energy Scheme. Speak to a solar supplier to understand the savings. It's much more affordable than you think and, just like Council, you'll quickly benefit from lower power bills.

 
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