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.
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.