“Council signed up to the Cities Power Partnership as we saw this as an opportunity to increase the work we are already doing in promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy. We are looking forward to identifying projects and achieving our goals, whilst sharing the information and resources of other likeminded Councils. ”
Mayor David Downie
What Council has achieved in the past in energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainable transport or broader sustainability:
Planning & Development
Council’s planning scheme requires development to be north facing where possible to allow for passive heating and reduction in energy use. To encourage solar use, Council’s Planning Scheme contains an exemption for solar collector panels and photovoltaic cells on a roof.
Water Sensitive Urban Design
Council has recently completed a Water Sensitive Urban Design Strategy, whereby stormwater is redirected and filtered through two ponds to clear the stormwater of debris before it flows back into the stormwater channel. The development has two primary benefits, cleaning the stormwater before it returns back to the river system, and creating a wetland for native flora and fauna.
Northern Lights Project
The Northern Midlands Council is currently participating in the Northern Lights Project. The project involves changing over 920 of the current residential street lights to energy efficient luminaires. The new lights will be up to 82% more efficient than the existing 80W mercury vapour lights, leading to significant cost and energy savings by Council. By making this change, Northern Midlands will save the equivalent of around 900 tonnes of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere. This is equal to removing twenty cars off the road every year for the next twenty years! Despite an initial capital outlay, the reduced operation and maintenance costs of the lights mean that the project will be cash flow positive within 7 years. From that point onward Council will incur savings, adding up to around $1.75 million over the 20 year life of the lights.
Installation of solar panels
Council supports the installation of solar panels on Council buildings and infrastructure, with a recent installation on the Evandale Community Centre, Evandale.
What Council hopes to achieve in the future in energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainable transport or broader sustainability:
Council hopes to achieve the following:
- Reducing Council’s carbon footprint
- Educating the community about energy efficiency and opportunities for individuals that will result in savings for them, and benefit to the environment
- Generating savings for Council, and ultimately its ratepayers by becoming more energy efficient and utilising renewable energy
What Council hopes to gain from being a member of the Cities Power Partnership:
Council hopes to gain two things from being a member of the Cities Power Partnership:
- Knowledge and information from like-minded Councils.
- Benefit for its ratepayers by decreasing Council’s energy costs, thus saving money to invest in other community infrastructure.