Merri-Bek City Council
Council has selected the following climate pledges
Purchase 100% of Council’s operational electricity demand through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Crowlands Windfarm
Provide incentives and/or remove barriers to encourage local businesses to take up solar power and battery storage
Offer and support Environmental Upgrade Agreements as a financing mechanism for Merri-bek businesses
Collaborate with external stakeholders towards transition to ‘zero emissions’ options for heavy fleet
Support local community renewable energy projects, and encourage investment in community energy
Roll-out the ‘Solar on Leased Facilities’ program to support community tenants in Council-owned buildings to receive the benefits of solar PV without the upfront capital cost
Collaborate with delivery partners and community to implement Climate Emergency Action Plan, with vision for zero carbon Merri-bek by 2040
Merri-Bek City Council
What council has achieved in the past in energy efficiency, renewable energy or broader sustainability
Merri-bek has been taking leadership action to reduce our corporate emissions for more than 20 years. In 2012 we were the third council in Australia to be certified carbon neutral for our corporate operations. In the same year, we installed the first Electric Vehicle (EV) Fast Charging station in Victoria (second in Australia) to support the shift to zero emissions transport.
More recently, in an Australian first, Merri-bek partnered with several other councils, businesses and institutions to drive investment in new renewable energy through the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project. This project, led by Melbourne City Council, has resulted in a ten-year power purchasing agreement to secure renewable wind power from Tango Energy sourced from Crowlands Windfarm near Ararat (in regional Victoria). Through this partnership, Merri-bek is meeting 100% of our corporate electricity demand with renewables.
Now Council’s EV charging station network (one of the largest owned and operated by a Council in Australia) includes 16 public locations, including five fast charge stations. Council now has 23 pure electric vehicles (EVs) in its own light vehicle fleet. This is the largest Council EV fleet in Victoria.
Since 2011, energy efficiency upgrades and installation of solar photovoltaics (PV) on Council buildings have delivered big savings on energy bills. The 826kW of installed rooftop PV capacity saves 1,302 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually and save Council $154,500 each year off energy bills, which is money that can be re-invested in community projects.
What council hopes to achieve in the future in energy efficiency, renewable energy or broader sustainability
Merri-bek Council is working with our community towards a zero carbon municipality by 2040. Merri-bek continues to invest in accelerating community and council energy transition towards ‘efficient and 100% renewably powered’. Merri-bek will be increasingly powered by renewable energy, generated across a range of sites which could be used, stored, and sold within Merri-bek. Council is working with households, businesses, and community groups to assist in implementing cost effective solutions. We work with private and public sector partners to promote Merri-bek as a testing ground for innovative energy initiatives. Council supports relevant research and delivery of products, services and financing options to enable residents to make the transition to an efficient all-electric home.
Why council joined the Cities Power Partnership
When it comes to local action on climate change, Merri-bek is leading the charge. We joined the Cities Power Partnership because we recognise the value of knowledge sharing and connecting with other leaders as well as supporting other councils to take effective action on the climate crisis.