Council sets ambitious energy and emissions targets

Coffs Harbour City Council has set a target of using 100% renewable energy by 2030.
Coffs Harbour City Council has set a target of using 100% renewable energy by 2030. Karleila Thomsen

USING 100% renewable energy by 2030 is the boldest of a set of new energy and emissions targets set by Coffs Harbour City Council, which is embarking on a renewed push to save money and help improve the environment.

Other targets include:

  • Reducing annual corporate emissions of CO2 gases from 2010 levels by 25% by 2020 and by 50% by 2025.
  • Ensuring Council's energy use consists of 25% renewables by 2020 and 50% renewables by 2025.

"These are ambitious targets, but we are confident that as technology continues to improve and we carry on working hard to cut costs and greenhouse gas emissions, we will reach them," Coffs Harbour Mayor, Cr Denise Knight said.

The most recent initiative has been the installation of solar panels at the Botanic Garden, but Council has a long history of seeking energy-efficient solutions.

In 2004, Coffs Harbour became the first council in Australia to introduce energy-efficient street lighting across its entire local government area. In 2009, a landfill gas capture facility - the first of its kind on the Mid North Coast - was installed at the Coffs Coast Resource Recovery Park. This has seen a significant drop in greenhouse gas emissions.

Then in 2010, Coffs Harbour City Council installed the largest public rooftop solar power array in NSW on the top of Rigby House which saves $30,000 per annum in electricity costs.

Council also recently adopted an energy fund for investment into energy efficiency works and renewable energy. This would be funded through 10% of the difference in costs between the black and green energy purchased by Council, or $100,000 a year, whichever is the greater.

Action will be identified through the soon to be developed Coffs Harbour Emissions Reduction Plan (CHERP) and will be effective from January 2016.

The setting of the new targets is part of the initial stages in the development of the CHERP. The Plan will form part of a framework that will include how Council monitors, reviews and reports on its emissions.

The next stage in its development will be the preparation of a detailed Emissions Reduction Plan, with prioritised actions, costs and suggested ways to finance those actions.

Topics:  coffs harbour city council renewable energy solar power

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