Maitland City Council signs up for energy savings program
Maitland City Council is one of 18 councils to join the Office of Environment and Heritage’s (OEH) ground breaking program to help councils and communities save energy and cut power bills.
The OEH Sustainable Councils and Communities Program is a $1.7 million, four year pilot program working with 18 councils to help them better understand their energy use, so they can make the business case for efficiency or upgrade projects.
OEH Sustainability Programs Director Mick O’Flynn says, 'This program is funded by the NSW Government’s Climate Change Fund to help councils with limited budgets become ‘investment ready’ for energy saving projects, which previously have been beyond their reach.
'The program will also focus on cutting energy bills for households and businesses and improving the comfort of homes for the most vulnerable. Participating councils will encourage their communities to apply for programs like the Appliance Replacement Offer and discount lighting upgrades for small businesses and households'.
Council’s Group Manager Infrastructure and Works Chris James says, 'Council signed up to the Sustainable Councils and Communities program in January 2019. With the support offered by the SCC program, we have access to independent experts who can tell us exactly how to invest our money to achieve significant savings'.
With the help of expert consultants funded by OEH, Council is planning to increase the amount of solar power on the works depot and is about to undertake a detailed energy audit of the Maitland Regional Art Gallery (MRAG). The MRAG audit will provide recommendations on upgrading the air conditioning system which is coming to the end of its life. It will also recommend lighting systems that are customised for art gallery conditions and suggest how much solar power should be installed to offset the gallery’s energy bills.
Councils in the pilot program include Upper Lachlan, Bega Valley, Eurobodalla, Hay, Balranald, Lachlan, Warren, Coonamble, Liverpool Plains, Cessnock, Maitland, Nambucca, Gwydir, Clarence Valley, Richmond Valley, Kyogle, Fairfield and Campbelltown.
'There’s a great desire in these local government areas to be part of a sustainable future and this program will provide the support and expert advice to help turn that desire into reality', added Mr O’Flynn said.
The program is supporting the 18 councils to identify energy saving projects, get advice from energy experts and upgrade their facilities to save energy and money.