Carbon footprint reduced

GANNAWARRA Shire Council is on target to reduce its carbon footprint by 10 per cent over four years. 

Council has subsequently achieved operational cost savings over that period by completing a number of energy saving projects on many council buildings and street lights throughout the municipality. 

"Energy savings and a corresponding reduction in the generation of greenhouse gases are in line with the Council Plan 2017-2021," infrastructure services director, Geoff Rollinson has told council. 

Council noted on Wednesday night the reduction in energy usage achieved to date and adopted a recommendation to continue to invest in energy saving initiatives throughout the municipality.

Council operates and maintains a significant number of buildings across the municipality.

Mr Rollinson said that council officers have implemented a number of actions to reduce council's carbon footprint over the last four years: 

Patchell Plaza, Kerang

• Air-conditioning control units – timers installed; 

• Office lighting retrofit – fluorescent and incandescent to LED;

Indoor heated pool, Kerang

• Gas heating changed to heat pump and solar heating. 

Kerang Children's Centre

• Lighting retrofit – fluorescent and incandescent to LED. 

Sir John Gorton Library, Kerang

• Lighting retrofit – fluorescent and incandescent lights to LED; 

• 13kW solar panel system installed.

Shire depot, Kerang 

• Lighting retrofit within works bay; 

• 10kW solar panel system installed; 

Shire office and library, Cohuna 

• Lighting retrofit – fluorescent and incandescent lights to LED; 

• 10kW solar panel system installed.

Gateway Centre, Cohuna 

• Lighting retrofit – fluorescent and incandescent lights to LED; 

• 5kW solar panel system installed.

Kerang Senior Citizens Centre 

• 5kW solar panel system installed. 

Cohuna Memorial Hall 

• 5kW solar panel system installed. 

Lighting the Regions 

• All council-operated street lights – LED lights replaced all 80W mercury vapour lights.

Mr Rollinson told council that the last 12 months' data shows an approximate overall saving of $11,000 per annum has been realised at the six buildings that have had solar panels installed. At this rate a payback period of less than 10 years will be realised.

The street light changeover now saves council over $5000 in electricity costs and $15,000 in Powercor operational charges per year. 

"These completed projects have led to significant savings over the last four years, with the largest saving coming from the changeover of the street lighting from 80-watt Mercury Vapour to LEDs and smaller savings with other lighting retrofits and solar panels," he said. 

A total of $120,000 has been allocated into the 2017/2018 capital budget for the bulk installation of solar panels onto council buildings to continuing council's commitment to reducing its carbon footprint.

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