The City of Ballarat has committed to its long term sustainability goals of carbon neutrality and its 100 per cent Renewables Action Plan 2019-2025 through being one of 51 Victorian councils to slash energy bills by switching to 100 per cent renewable energy, powered by the Victorian Energy Collaboration (VECO). 

The City of Ballarat has saved about 12,000t of greenhouse gas emissions by powering Council buildings, facilities and street lights with renewable energy in the first 12 months of the collaboration. 

City of Ballarat Councillor, Belinda Coates, said, “This landmark collaboration demonstrates the value of local governments working together to transition to a renewable energy future and tackle climate change.”

VECO is the largest ever emissions reduction project by local governments in Australia.

Councils’ collective investment in Victorian renewables has delivered electricity about 25 per cent cheaper. 

The 9.5 year contract with Red Energy will continue to protect councils from record high wholesale prices in coming years, and help to increase the stability of the state’s energy system. 

Cr Coates said the City of Ballarat is responding to the climate emergency by reducing emissions. 

“Victoria has some of the best renewable energy resources in the world, including wind and solar,” Cr Coates said.

“Through the collective buying of renewable energy, we have supported investment in renewables in Victoria, increasing energy stability and reducing retail energy prices.” 

The shift to renewable energy is a flagship initiative of the City’s commitment to its Carbon Neutrality and 100% Renewables Action Plan 2019-2025 and action on the climate emergency. 

It also aligns with the Council Plan 2021-2025 Goal 1 – ‘An environmentally sustainable future’. 

Since launching in 2021, VECO has grown from 46 to 51 participating councils in Victoria and is the largest ever renewable energy buyers’ group in the country. 

About 172,000t of greenhouse gas emissions have been saved by councils in the first 12 months – the equivalent of powering up to 35,000 homes or taking 66,000 cars off the road each year.  

Savings are expected to increase to 220,000t of greenhouse gas emissions per year, as the recently joined councils are continuing a staged roll-in of their electricity accounts.

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