Energy Efficiency Achievement Winner & Shortlisted Finalists



  • Newcastle Museum Energy Upgrade – The City of Newcastle (NSW)



Newcastle City Council aims to protect and enhance the environment including through greater efficiency in the use of resources. Newcastle Museum is one of Council’s key sites to undergo energy efficiency upgrades and solar PV installation and is an exemplar for its carbon reductions and protection of heritage aspects. The project builds on Council’s long track record of acting to reduce electricity consumption and carbon emissions. Through the Newcastle 2020 Carbon MAP, Council began delivery of its Smart Buildings Smart Workforce project involving energy efficiency upgrades at high-use social, cultural and recreational facilities and key Council operational buildings.

The Museum Energy Upgrade project involves sensitively approaching the heritage significance of the site and integrating energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements throughout the buildings. The complexity in delivering these projects was increased by the requirement for heritage impact studies and approvals. The project team has led the upgrade of the Museum through lighting upgrades of several sections of the building and installation of 100kW of Solar and the management of the heritage applications and approvals.


  • Lighting the Way, Southern Highlands Street Lighting Upgrade – Wingecarribee Shire Council (NSW)



Wingecarribee Shire Council’s Lighting the Way – Southern Highlands Street Lighting Upgrade project was designed to address the finding that public street lighting in Wingecarribee Shire accounts for 15% of Council’s total energy consumption, and 11% of total GHG emissions.

Council’s Environment team engaged a range of internal and external stakeholders in order to develop the project and ensure the operation, environmental and financial measures were achieved. Stakeholders included Endeavour Energy, Accredited Certificate Providers, Council’s Finance Committee and Chief Financial Officer as well as the Executive Team and Customer Service Team, Council’s Traffic Engineer and Coordinator of Procurement and Fleet. The general community were also engaged as Council believed it extremely important to take the community along the journey of this large sustainability project. Council also reported back to other members of the Cities Power Partnership Buddies Program, sharing the experience gained from this and other projects.

Council has converted approximately 75% of its total public lighting inventory to LED lighting and is predicted to reduce its carbon emissions by 524 tCO2e per annum, which is more carbon abatement than all of Council’s previous energy management projects combined. There is a clear reduction (approximately 31%) in electricity consumption in the 2018 figures post project implementation. Council has also received an $84,000 income from the project and there has been a proposal to invest this income into Council’s Revolving Energy Fund meaning it will have ongoing benefits, funding further energy management projects.


  • Emissions Reduction Plan – Eurobodalla Shire Council (NSW)



In 2017 Eurobodalla Shire Council adopted its latest Emissions Reduction Plan, which identifies a pathway to reduce emissions by 80% by 2030. Council is well on track to meet its interim target of a 25% reduction in emissions by 2020. This has been achieved through a range of actions over many years, including implementing methane recovery and flaring at two landfill sites, installing over 2,500 LED street lights, and an Energy Performance Contract involving a range of new energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Council has been proactive and diligent in embracing solutions that deliver real benefits in saving emissions and costs and has demonstrated that even relatively small councils can make significant impacts on climate change.

Council conducted detailed and targeted research and community consultation in the development of the Emissions Reduction Plan, and also consulted with both internal and external stakeholders including council staff and interested community groups. Council has worked closely with a range of other councils both informally and via participation in a number of committees and joint council organisations. Council has also worked closely with the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) and continues to do so.

Council routinely evaluates the outcomes of their projects by measuring the trend in Council greenhouse gas emissions. Council has been monitoring these emissions consistently since establishing the baseline year of 2005/06. As a direct result of the projects completed in this time period Council will have saved 13,000 tonnes of CO2e per year. Total Council emissions are on track towards the interim target of a 25% reduction in total emissions by 2020 compared to the 2005/06 baseline. Emissions are currently down by 19%.

  • Willoughby Leisure & Aquatic Centre Water Filtration Media Upgrade – Willoughby City Council (NSW)



As Willoughby Leisure Centre is a large consumer of energy and water, Willoughby City Council is consistently looking at ways it can reduce both its carbon and water footprint at the centre. Last year, a number of innovative upgrades were made to the Filter Media for both the spa pool and the main and associated pools, in a project collaboration between leisure centre staff and Sustainable Environment.

Traditional filter media requires a lot of water and energy to pump and chemicals to filter. Council decided to trial an innovative new Filtration Media for the spa pool called the OC-1, which works through a method of settlement, as opposed to the traditional method of entrapment. The filter capacity of the OC-1 is more than 20 times that of traditional filters, the design allows a greater flow of water and a reduction in pump speed which allows savings in water, chemicals, electricity and heat loss. The filter performed even better than anticipated and so led to an institutional change and the OC-1 is now the standard filter media for all spa pools and pools in Willoughby Leisure Centre. Overall this has resulted in total water saving from backwashing of 1 million litres of water per annum. Pump speeds have been reduced from 50Hz to 42Hz, this is a KW saving of 70,000 kw per hour or 24,600 kg co2e per annum which equates to $14,000 per annum of pump running costs.

Stakeholders involved in the project included staff, industry professionals, regional organisations of councils and other local businesses, particularly pool servicing professionals. Willoughby Council was the first to use this filter media in Australia. Council hopes that its leadership and innovation to be a trailblazer in filter media upgrades will act as an inspiration to other Council’s that own leisure centres.


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