modern carpark with led lighting

Northern Beaches Council has reduced its emissions by almost 80 per cent, and saved over $320,000 in one year, thanks to its renewable energy Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) and solar and LED lighting installations across Council infrastructure. 

The Northern Beaches Council electricity costs (for Council buildings and sites) were slashed by $321,690 in the past financial year, while electricity costs for street lighting were reduced by $201,870.

Northern Beaches Council Mayor, Michael Regan, said these major savings were achieved through Council’s 100 per cent renewable electricity PPA, which improved energy efficiency and installed more solar panels on council properties.

“By investing in solar and switching to renewable energy, we have reduced our emissions by around 80 per cent and slashed our energy costs,” Mayor Regan said.

“It’s a win for the community with savings directed back into infrastructure upgrades and community projects right across the Northern Beaches. 

“We are proud to be part of a future-minded community that champions sustainability and climate change action. We have not only met our corporate emission reduction targets – we have exceeded those targets.”

Solar installations on Council properties and the PPA are together expected to achieve savings of over $2.4 million over seven years compared with forward estimates.

These measures have also resulted in Council meeting two corporate targets well ahead of schedule: for all suitable premises to be powered by renewable electricity by 2030; and to reduce corporate emissions by 60 per cent by 2040.

The 100 per cent Renewable Electricity PPA has reduced Council’s overall corporate carbon emissions by around 20,000t. Council’s partner in the PPA is the Iberdrola-owned Bodangora Wind Farm, located in regional New South Wales.

Council’s recent energy saving achievements include:

  • Installing 500kW of solar on Council buildings boosting our total solar installations to over 900kW
  • Launching the Simplifying Solar Program to provide information and advice to the community to support the uptake of solar power
  • Installing five free, fast electric vehicle chargers using 100 per cent renewable power, as part of a world first initiative with Ausgrid and JOLT

In 2021, Northern Beaches Council was awarded the Cities Power Partnership Renewable Energy Achievement Award for its work in recognition of these efforts. 

Ausgrid’s Accelerated Residential Streetlight replacement project, which is more than 90 per cent complete on the Northern Beaches, has also contributed to Council’s street lighting energy savings.

The new LED street lighting is estimated to save Council more than $1.7 million over ten years and reduce Council’s carbon emissions by 3,000t a year.

For more information on Council’s energy saving measures visit northernbeaches.nsw.gov.au/environment/climate-emergency-and-sustainability

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