Sunday, February 25, 2024

Western Sydney councils save big on energy and emissions

The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) says its eight member councils have saved ratepayers tens of millions of dollars and hugely reduced carbon emissions through renewable power purchase agreements and sustainable energy projects.

The Organisation’s latest annual report shows that under its Western Sydney Energy Program, ratepayers have saved more than $36 million since 2019.

The scheme also reduced the councils’ combined greenhouse emissions by 535,714 tonnes – the equivalent to taking more than 120,000 cars off the road annually.

“Contributing to the savings has been the rollout of modern high-tech LED streetlighting across the eight council areas,” said WSROC President, Councillor Barry Calvert.

“By June next year, more than 100,000 streetlights will have been changed to LEDs, that alone saving $16.2 million in estimated regional energy costs annually and reducing carbon emissions by 71,378 tonnes.”

The Western Sydney Energy Program commenced in February 2019 and is a collaboration between Blacktown City Council, Blue Mountains City Council, Camden Council, Cumberland City Council, Hawkesbury City Council, The Hills Shire Council, Liverpool City Council and the City of Parramatta Council.

“The member councils have made excellent progress in reducing energy costs and carbon emissions during the short life of the program,” said Cr Calvert. “And there’s more to come.”

The eight councils have also joined WSROC’s Western Sydney Electric Vehicle (EV) Roadmap, with a focus on assisting councils with EV transition plans, charging for fleet, and advocacy and policy development to support community uptake of EVs.

“Small business has also been a winner. Over 1,000 small businesses in Western Sydney saved on average $1,394 each on energy bills annually by accessing the Business Energy Advice program component,” said Cr Calvert.

The Western Sydney Energy Program has aligned and maximised the councils’ energy and cost-saving efforts, he said.

“This is absolutely vital as Western Sydney’s rapid population growth and hot climate continue to place increasing pressure on our electricity grid and cause electricity bills to rise.”

“Ensuring that Western Sydney is prepared to transition to an energy-efficient, low-carbon future is critical for our communities.

“The Western Sydney Energy Program exists to support participating councils by establishing an aligned position, based on best practice, so that future regional development is both cost-effective and future-proofed with a significantly reduced carbon footprint,” Cr Calvert said.

To download a copy of the annual report, go to https://wsroc.com.au/media-a-resources/reports/summary/3-reports/364-2022-2023-western-sydney-regional-organisation-of-councils-annual-report.

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