Councils recognised for outstanding climate initiatives

Australia’s local government climate allowance has awarded outstanding council-led environmental initiatives from around the country.

City of Mitcham in SA took out the Renewable Energy Achievement and Community Choice Awards at the Cities Power Partnership  Climate Awards in Melbourne last week.

Cr Homles-Ross

Mitcham won the gongs for its carbon emissions reduction program, which includes plans for a Virtual Power Plant (VPP) and the creation of a community energy plan.

The proposed Mitcham Energy Plant aims to offer renewable energy to 762 residents and businesses across the city, including renters and will cut an estimated 3,193 tons of CO2 annually.

“Our Community Renewables Program is an Australian first and is helping our community shift to renewable energy,” Mayor Heather Holmes-Ross said.

“We are reducing carbon emissions, promoting renewable energy adoption, and easing the cost-of-living pressure.”

Victoria’s Brimbank City Council won the Energy Eficiency Acheivement Award for the first all-electric aquatic centre in Australia.

The Brimbank Aquatic and Wellness Centre incorporates energy optimisation features including a four-pipe heat pump system, an integrated heat recovery system, a thermal building envelope, a 500kW rooftop solar PV system, and an 88,000L thermal energy storage system. The centre’s operation has already achieved a 76 per cent energy use reduction compared to conventional gas-powered aquatic centres since it opened a year ago.

After being smashed by fires, storms a floods, Shoalhaven City Council in NSW was recognised with a Battler Award for its Recovery into Resilience project which has seen council install renewable energy and storage batteries at 25 halls and facilities across the region and lead a spearhead an agreement with neighbouring councils to purchase renewable energy.

Celebrating Logan City’s Staff Climate Champion Award: Mayor Darren Power (image supplied by Logan City)

The Innovation award went to the ACT Government for its Make Your Next Choice Electric personalised digital tool that creates customed plans to help the community transition away from gas.

Victoria’s Yarra City Council claimed the Collaboration Award for the Business Renewable Buying Group which was created to develop a scalable model for group buying of renewable energy.

“By joining together and using council experience, Yarra has been able to reduce upfront costs, provide clear advice and support, facilitate learning across the group, and improve access to electricity markets making business renewable energy contracts more affordable,” the CPP said.

Tweed Shire Mayor Chris Cherry was named Climate Ambassador for his advocacy for flood resilience and climate action, with the Council Staff Climate Champion Award going to Logan City’s Health, Climate and Conservation Branch.

The team helped the City become the 15th council in Australa the get Climate Active carbon neutral certification early this year. To get there, council staff led a variety of initiatives like installing solar and battery storage systems, introducing green waste recycling, energy efficiency upgrades and electrifying their fleet.

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