The Victorian Government recognises that Local Governments, particularly in rural and regional Victoria, own and manage a range of facilities that present opportunities for emissions reduction through improved energy efficiency and increased use of renewable energy.
The Local Government Energy Saver Program aims to work with a minimum of 22 resource constrained, regional councils across Victoria. The program will run until June 2020, and will help councils to understand, prioritise and implement energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades on their existing buildings and facilities.
What does the program offer?
The program will offer three streams of services to support councils along a pathway, from considering their energy use, to developing business cases for upgrades, to the implementation of practical actions to save and generate energy. Any current initiatives and actions already underway in participating councils will be recognised, and councils will be invited to access the appropriate stream for them.
Stream 1: Establish Local Government Corporate Emissions Profile and Reduction Plan
Stream 2: Local Government Owned Facility Energy Audits
Stream 3: Implementation of Retrofit Work
Initial engagement and consultations commenced in July 2017 to determine the most suitable entry point for participating councils.
Why should councils join the program?
Energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades can be highly cost effective and provide significant savings for councils, businesses and households.
Co-benefits to council and facility occupants include:
- lower maintenance bills
- more comfortable and productive facilities
- increased asset value
- deferred capital costs and lower maintenance costs (well-tuned equipment lasts longer and breaks down less often)
- increased appeal to tenants and longer lease times
- future-proofing building assets against rising energy costs and regulations
- increased resilience to climate change and temperature extremes
- reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
What are councils required to contribute?
Throughout all three streams, councils will be expected to contribute in-kind costs such as staff time, data and onsite support. Cash contributions are only required in the third stream, when retrofit works are implemented.
What is the eligibility criteria for participating in the program?
The aim of the program is to include councils in communities that are likely to have the most limited capacity to respond and adapt effectively to the challenges of climate change. Specifically, it focuses on regional councils with comparatively small populations, highest municipal expenses per head of population, and higher relative levels of social and economic disadvantage in the local community.