At Yarra Ranges Council, employees and Councillors are excited to be part of the Climate Council’s Cities Power Partnership program. We pride ourselves on our commitment to outstanding achievements in the climate space. Council is aiming to meet a 30 per cent reduction on our year 2000 baseline greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. Council’s Carbon Management Fund was created to reinvest financial savings through energy efficiency projects such as street lighting, solar panels and LED upgrades on Council buildings. More than 2000 solar panels have been installed on 30 buildings which equates to 800 kW of solar potential.
Future works have been planned involving the installation of solar car parking and electric fleet vehicles are being investigated. A feasibility study is underway to assess the option of solar farms on closed landfill sites. We are planning for this exciting project to transform an under-utilised site to a highly efficient and integral future resource.
Yarra Ranges Council is active within the community, supporting several community renewable energy groups with sustainability related projects. Upper Yarra Community Power recently installed a mini hydro turbine at Warburton. The run of river model allows the biodiversity assets to remain protected while power is generated. A passionate group in Healesville is planning to transition the town to ‘Net Zero Emission’ status within 10 years and there are other community solar projects in Yarra Glen, Wesburn and the Dandenong Ranges.
To support businesses, Yarra Ranges Council offers Environmental Upgrade Agreements. This program works with the Sustainable Melbourne Fund to enable business property owners to access competitive loans for environmental improvements.
Yarra Ranges Council has also participated in the Solar Savers program, providing solar to pensioner households with zero upfront costs.
Yarra Ranges Council is inspired by the great work other councils have accomplished to address climate change. We are keen to learn, share and initiate action. Being involved in the CPP will enable this much-needed collaboration to co-create a better future.