The Local Government Energy Saver Program

Local government authorities (LGAs), particularly in rural and regional Victoria, own and manage a range of facilities with 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 councils across regional Victoria with a grant offering for energy audits and upgrades. The program will also develop capacity building resources for all Victorian councils. 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?

There are four  streams of services to support councils along a pathway (streams 1–3 available to selected LGAs, stream 4 available to all LGAs), 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.
  • Stream 4: Capacity Building Resources
    This stream is open to all Victorian local government authorities. Resources can be found in the Stream 4 resources section below.

What are the benefits of improving energy management in local government?

Energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades can be highly cost effective and provide significant savings for councils, businesses and households.

Benefits to both 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.

Video with audio descriptionDownload the transcript (PDF 19kB)

What are councils required to contribute?

Throughout the program, eligible councils will be expected to contribute in-kind costs such as staff time, data and onsite support. Cash contributions are only required in Stream 3, when retrofit works are implemented. Resources available through Stream 4 are available to all Victorian LGAs.

What is the eligibility criteria for participating in the program?

The aim of the grant program (Stream 1, 2 and 3) is to include councils and communities that are likely to have the most limited capacity to respond and adapt to the challenges of climate change. It focuses on regional councils with comparatively small populations, high municipal expenses per head of population, and higher relative levels of social and economic disadvantage in the local community.

Councils eligible for Stream 1, 2 and 3 of this program include:

Barwon South West
  • Colac-Otway Shire
  • Corangamite Shire
  • Glenelg Shire
  • Southern Grampians Shire
  • Bass Coast Shire
  • East Gippsland Shire
  • Ararat Rural City
  • Central Golfields Shire
  • Hindmarsh Shire
  • Horsham Rural City
  • Northern Grampians Shire
  • Pyrenees Shire
  • West Wimmera Shire
  • Yarriambiack Shire
  • Benalla Rural City
  • Murrindindi Shire
  • Strathbogie Shire
  • Towong Shire
Loddon Mallee
  • Buloke Shire
  • Gannawarra Shire
  • Loddon Shire
  • Swan Hill Rural City

Stream 4 Capacity Building Resources

A series of resources has been developed with the aim of assisting local governments move towards organisational emissions reduction.

Webinar series

Webinars were recorded in partnership with Ironbark Sustainability and can be accessed through the links below.

Webinar 1 – GHG (greenhouse gas) Emissions Reporting for Corporate and Community

This webinar runs for 2 hours and covers how to get started, emissions boundary setting and scopes, key accounting protocols (NGERS/NCOS), some local government authority-specific emissions methodologies (waste), community GHG profiles (GPC) and the Local Government Energy Saver program emissions calculating tool.

Webinar 2 – GHG Data Management

This webinar runs for 1 hour and 15 minutes and covers availability and use of GHG data management and reporting tools, how to capture ongoing data, data quality, reviewing data and planning annual incremental improvements and a few special Excel data management tips.

Webinar 3 – Science Based GHG Targets

This webinar runs for 1.5 hours and covers the history of GHG reduction targets from a local Victorian context, the three types of targets (aspirational, science derived and action based), science derived target methodology and global/national/local carbon budgets.

Organisational Carbon Accounting for Local Government

In September and October 2018, a course on organisational carbon accounting was offered to all Victorian councils. There are currently no plans to run this course again, but the resources developed can be accessed below.  Please note that these resources are based on carbon accounting methodologies in 2018.

Webinars from the Organisational Carbon Accounting for Local Government course

Carbon accounting webinar 1: Foundations

This webinar runs for 1.5 hours and covers; understanding the business case for carbon accounting, carbon accounting standards and guidelines and sources of emissions factors and their application.

Carbon accounting webinar 2: Accounting boundaries

This webinar runs for 1.5 hours and covers; determining emissions reporting boundaries and understanding the concepts of relevance and materiality.

Carbon accounting webinar 3: Documenting carbon inventory results

This webinar runs for 1.5 hours and covers; how to document carbon inventory results and the approaches and options for setting targets, using inventories as a basis for visualising level of effort and ambition.

Learner Guide from the Organisational Carbon Accounting for Local Government course

The learner guide steps through the different units of the course and provides valuable information, resources and links on organisational carbon accounting.

Download the Organisational Carbon Accounting for Local Governments – Learner Guide (PDF, 2.8MB )

Energy Projects Service Providers

A panel of services providers was supplied to Councils taking part in the Local Government Energy Saver and the Better Commercial Buildings Programs.Please note that the panel was assembled in 2018. The list can be found at the bottom of the Better Commericial Buildings webpage under the heading Service Providers.

Further information

Refer to the Local Government Energy Saver Program Frequently Asked Questions.

Local Government Energy Saver Program FAQs (PDF, 184kB) Local Government Energy Saver Program FAQs (DOC, 97kB)

Other resources

Victorian Energy Upgrades logo

Victorian Energy Upgrades program

Local councils can benefit from the Victorian Energy Upgrades program by making eligible energy efficiency upgrades to council premises or assets.

Visit Victorian Energy Saver website

Want to know more? Get in touch with:

Grants Support Representative

Sustainability Victoria

1300 363 744