The City of Onkaparinga

Is a Power Partner

46% reduction

in corporate emissions since 2010-11

37% Reduction

in electricity use

537kW Solar PV installed

on 29 council owned buildings

“The Cities Power Partnership provides Onkaparinga, and all other member councils, with an opportunity to share knowledge, better understand the impacts of climate change, and develop effective strategies in response.

The CPP also provide a visible and credible platform to demonstrate the work we are already doing to alleviate the risks of climate change in our region. Local councils are stronger when we act together to advocate for better climate change policies and action at the state and national level.

This is about acting now, to secure our future, before it’s too late.

We’re proud to be a part of the solution.”

Mayor Erin Thompson

Council has committed to the following Cities Power Partnership pledges

Roll out energy efficient lighting (particularly street lighting) across the municipality.

12,000 streetlights changed to 14w LEDs. We are now using 40 per cent less electricity to light our streets and have reduced our emissions by 1900 tCo2e per year.

Install renewable energy (solar PV and battery storage) on council buildings.

389 kW of solar panels have been installed on five high-use sites with a payback period of under six years:

  • Noarlunga Office 100 kW
  • Field Operations Centre 120 kW
  • Woodcroft Community Centre and Library 89 kW
  • Base 10 Youth Centre 16kW
  • Aberfoyle Hub Recreation Centre 26.6 kW
  • Wakefield House bifacial Solar Carpark Shade 22kW

A 600kW solar farm has been installed on a capped landfill at the jointly owned Southern Resources Waste and Recycling Authority at Seaford. It has the capacity to power the equivalent of 4400 homes and cut emissions by an estimated 135,000 tonnes a year. A bio-gas plant at the site converts methane from decomposing organic waste, including food scraps, into electricity. The site is considered emissions neutral.

Create a revolving green energy fund to finance renewable energy projects.

Adopt best practice energy efficiency measures across all council buildings, and support community facilities to adopt these measures.

  • The Energy Support Program supports staff and volunteers at community centres to make the most of their building energy upgrades. By understanding where and how they are using energy, they can learn how to manage it eg when choosing major appliances such as commercial fridges, or by utilising the heating and air-conditioning systems
  • Building Upgrade Finance is available to building owners to access long-term finance at competitive fixed interest rates to improve the energy, water and waste efficiency of existing commercial and industrial buildings. It is designed to overcome the barriers that exist to energy efficiency upgrades for tenanted buildings.

Develop education and behaviour-change programs to support local residents and businesses to tackle climate change through clean energy, energy efficiency and sustainable transport.

  • Our Sustainable Onkaparinga workshop and events program helps residents with practical knowledge and skills on a range on environmental topics and is delivered with a range of local partners
  • Two Green Hub demonstration sites provide a self-guided tour of the type of energy efficient upgrades and systems that households can put in place to reduce energy and water consumption, waste to landfill and greenhouse gas emissions. Also e-bikes to try, bikes for hire and free EV charging.    
  • Our Household Solar map shows the uptake of solar by suburb.
  • We supported the development of a set of solar basics videos for householders by Finn Peacock that can be distributed by councils. 
  • Seasonal Branching Out e-newsletters include articles on clean energy, energy efficiency and sustainable transport.
  • In-person advice is provided quarterly through outreach at shopping centres and public events.
  • One-on-one ‘Understand Your Energy Bills’ sessions.
  • Energy Audit Kits are available for loan from our libraries.

The City of Onkaparinga

What council has achieved in the past in energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainable transport or broader sustainability

  • We have a long history of working with climate change and began measuring our corporate emissions in 1998.
  • The City of Onkaparinga is an active member of the Resilient South region of councils and we work collaboratively on climate adaptation planning, including mapping the urban heat island effect and tree canopy cover using high resolution imagery.
  • In 2008 we commissioned a study to understand the risks that climate change will pose to our 31km of coast. Since then, we have been working on projects that strengthen our cliff stability and reduce erosion, funded in part by our Climate Change Fund.
  • Resilient South has now committed to working on emissions reduction as a region and each council is developing a community emissions profile to stimulate discussion within the community.

What council hopes to achieve in the future in energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainable transport or broader sustainability

  • In 2019/20 we are developing a new Climate Change Response Plan which will respond to current science and act on the recommendations of a climate risk governance assessment.
  • Council has committed to planting 100,000 trees to increase our canopy cover, cool our city and increase biodiversity. In the last three years we have planted over 29,000 trees, and we prioritise our program based on urban heat, tree canopy and social disadvantage.
  • We are accelerating the greening of our facilities by employing a staff member dedicated to reducing the carbon intensity of our facilities using our Revolving Resources Fund.

What council hopes to gain from being a member of the Cities Power Partnership

  • Local government is at its best when we work together on shared issues. Councils have an important role in supporting the low carbon economy. We are also the level of government most impacted by extreme events.  A recent survey of our residents found that 84% of respondents report having already experienced the effects of climate change, and believe that the City of Onkaparinga should take some responsibility for responding to these challenges.