The Local Government Energy Saver Program

Energy efficiency upgrades to council-owned community facilities such as kindergartens, leisure centres and community halls are an effective way to reduce carbon emissions and save resources.

The Local Government Energy Saver program (LGES) helps resource-constrained local government authorities across regional Victoria with a grant offering for energy audits and upgrades, along with capacity building resources for all Victorian councils.

The program helps councils to understand, prioritise and implement energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades on existing buildings and facilities.

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

Energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades can deliver significant savings for councils, businesses and local communities.

Benefits include:

  • lower maintenance bills and deferred capital costs (well-tuned equipment lasts longer and breaks down less often)
  • more comfortable facilities for local communities
  • increased appeal to tenants and longer lease times
  • increased asset value
  • ‘future-proofing’ against rising energy costs and regulations
  • increased resilience to climate change and temperature extremes and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

What does the program offer?

There are four streams in the Local Government Energy Saver Program to support councils to improve their energy efficiency, from considering energy use, to developing business cases for upgrades, to the implementation of practical actions to save and generate energy.

Streams 1–3 are available to selected LGAs, while stream 4 is available to all LGAs.

  • 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.

Upgrades in progress

The aim of the grants program (Streams 1, 2 and 3) is to support councils and communities across Victoria with lower capacity to respond and adapt to the challenges of climate change. It focuses on regional councils with small populations, high municipal expenses per head of population, and higher levels of social and economic disadvantage in the local community.

The map below displays upgrades completed or in progress as part of the Local Government Energy Saver program.

Capacity building resources

Under Stream 4 of the program, resources have been developed to assist local governments to reduce their emissions.

Webinar series 2019–20

Calculating emissions from landfills

This webinar covers tools to calculate landfill emissions from council owned and operated sites, how emissions from landfill sites managed by a third party can be incorporated into council emissions profiles, how to calculate emissions from closed landfills and how to calculate and account for gas capture and flaring at landfill sites.

Climate risk and local government financial and legal exposure

Sarah Barker, global Head of Climate Risk Governance at international law firm Minter Ellison explores the financial and legal reasons for a proactive approach from council in managing climate risk, including both climate change mitigation (emissions reduction) and adaptation (impact risk management and strategy).

Energy Efficiency for council facility managers

Jack Russell from Airmaster showcased examples at Victorian recreation centres and corporate centres, including lighting and HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) case studies. This webinar is ideal for facility managers and officers wanting to boost energy performance and stay up-to-date on best practice management of energy systems in council facilities.

Creating a revolving sustainability fund

Councils across Victoria have completed energy efficient upgrades to their facilities. Learn how they can capture the economic savings from these upgrades to fund future works. This webinar was hosted in partnership with Ironbark Sustainability.

Battery storage for community buildings

This webinar is for community energy groups considering inclusion of battery storage in project proposals or fielding enquiries from local residents about household batteries. It is also valuable for council sustainability officers who are looking at battery energy options for their facilities. This webinar features Andrew Reddaway from Renew.

For more information about future webinars, please email Luke.Wilkinson@sustainability.vic.gov.au

Webinar series 2018

The 2018 webinar series was recorded in partnership with Ironbark Sustainability.

Webinar 1: GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions reporting for corporate and community

Webinar 2: GHG data management and reporting tools

Webinar 3: Science-based GHG targets

Organisational Carbon Accounting for Local Government 2018

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 from 2018.

Webinar 1: Foundations

Webinar 2: Accounting boundaries

Webinar 3: Documenting carbon inventory results

Course learner guide

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 Commercial 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

grants.enquiries@sustainability.vic.gov.au