Willoughby Council to slash emissions and costs

Wednesday, 05 December, 2018

Willoughby Council to slash emissions and costs

Willoughby City Council is powering ahead with its sustainability commitments, announcing it is turning to LED streetlights and signing a 12-year renewable energy agreement.

Replacing 1799 streetlights with environmentally friendly LED lights is expected to save ratepayers $1 million over five years, reduce carbon emissions and provide better quality lighting.

Mayor Gail Giles-Gidney said this project will reduce light pollution and deliver “substantial benefits to our residents”.

“The new lights will also help us deliver on our commitment to a green and livable city with a total greenhouse gas saving of 506.1 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year — the equivalent to the electricity use in 90 homes each year.”

It is part of a statewide Ausgrid program which has seen it work with local councils to replace 40,000 old streetlights. The program will be rolled out across a further 28 local government areas, and work to replace the lights will begin this financial year.

Willoughby has also recently announced it has joined 17 other NSW councils to sign an agreement that will see it procure 20% of retail electricity from renewable sources from 1 July 2019.

Under the deal, Moree Solar Farm will supply around 440,000 MWh of renewable energy to 18 councils over 12 years. Origin Energy’s grid electricity will help address the remainder of council’s retail electricity needs.

The power purchase agreement (PPA) allows councils to fix their costs until 2030 and reduce their reliance on standard grid power. According to Willoughby Council, this will save over 1800 tonnes of CO2e every year and about $37,000 over three years in reduced electricity costs.

“It will support the renewable energy industry in NSW, with the savings re-invested back into our community,” said Giles-Gidney. “Council is committed to sustainability and investing in ways to reduce our environmental impact.”

Other councils involved in the joint renewable energy and retail electricity contract are: Bayside, Campbelltown, Canada Bay, Canterbury-Bankstown, Georges River, Hunters Hill, Inner West, Ku-ring-gai, Liverpool, North Sydney, Parramatta, Randwick, Ryde, Singleton, Sutherland Shire, Waverley and Woollahra.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Thaut Images

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