Energy, we use it daily. From turning on the heater during those cold winter nights, to using our phones, to making toast, in our contemporary lives it is almost impossible to escape. With global temperatures rising from human activity and polluting fossil fuels emitting greenhouse gases into our precious atmosphere, it’s imperative we think about where our energy is coming from and what we can do to use it more efficiently. Here are three amazing energy efficiency initiatives being spearheaded by local governments across Australia.
Energy Efficiency with the ACT
The ACT Government has established an Energy Efficiency Improvement Scheme requiring electricity retailers to achieve energy savings for households and businesses.
Under this scheme all electricity retailers in the ACT are prompted to take the lead on energy efficiency by delivering targeted support to low income households and small businesses. The program offers LED lighting upgrades, standby power controllers, draught sealers and energy efficient appliances to deliver energy efficiency improvements around the home or business.
To date, nearly half of Canberra households have been given assistance by this ambitious program, saving over half a million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions since its introduction. Both households and businesses are anticipated to save $400M off their energy bills over the lifetime of energy saving items installed.
It’s exciting to see the ACT government acting on energy policies to help Canberrans use energy more efficiently and combat global climate change.
Cool Roofs in WA
Did you know dark coloured roofs absorb most of the sunlight that hits them? This means that:
- More energy is needed to cool the house down during hot summer months, and
- The heat radiating from the dark roofs may also be directly influencing local, neighbourhood temperatures.
That’s why over in Western Australia, the City of Armadale, City of Gosnells and Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale have banded together to create the Cool Roofs Project; a research and communication campaign to explore the benefits of light-coloured roofs.
By joining resources to research cool roofs these councils are effectively helping to abate energy costs, improve future sustainable home designs, tackle climate change and provide policy makers with reasons to act.
Energy Efficient Buildings in Sydney
Waverley Council in NSW has established a free initiative to assist strata buildings save enormous costs by improving energy efficiency.
It can be overwhelming for building owners to pinpoint where to begin when it comes to saving energy, so through this program, the council works with building owners every step of the way to identify areas where energy could be used more efficaciously. Over a 12-month period, the program assists councils to carry out energy assessments, offers recommendations on retrofit upgrades, provides implementation support, training and networking opportunities and it even matches funding for any upgrades.
How much are the buildings expected to save? On average, the selected buildings are projected to save over $10,000 per year on electricity bills. Plus, the projects will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 594 tonnes per year.
These are just some of the great energy efficiency programs being rolled out by councils around the country. They underscore how local action has the power to make a difference when it comes to finding smarter ways to use energy and combat climate change.
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