Council joins green alliance

by Laura Michell

Whittlesea has joined 45 other Victorian councils to launch an emissions reduction project.

The council is part of the Victorian Energy Collaboration (VECO), a partnership which will allow councils to pool their energy contracts to power 45 per cent of all Victorian council electricity with renewables.

The VECO says the project will reduce greenhouse emissions by 260,000 tonnes of CO2-e every year.

Red Energy will provide 240 GWh of electricity per year to the 46 councils in the VECO purchasing group over a period of 9.5 years, beginning July 1.

The VECO says the project will reduce each member council’s energy bills and reduce electricity prices by using clean renewable energy generated in Victoria.

VECO is expected to save councils up to 35 per cent on their electricity bills, based on current costs. This will vary across councils based on energy needs.

Whittlesea chief executive Craig Lloyd said the council was proud to be a part of this collaborative sustainability initiative.

“Maintaining, enhancing and protecting our environment to ensure that the City of Whittlesea remains a wonderful place for all is a key priority for Council.

“Over the last nine years, we have installed solar power systems across more than 60 Council buildings, and batteries to store renewable energy at 11 facilities.

“Today, 23 per cent of our electricity for council buildings is derived from on-site solar power, and more than 53 per cent of our streetlights are now energy efficient. Because of these and other steps, we are on track to be an organisation that produces zero net carbon emissions by next year, and that’s a significant achievement.”

Red Energy chief executive Iain Graham said the company was “delighted” to provide Victorian council with renewable energy at a competitive price.