Council makes a $2.2 million commitment to energy efficiency
  • Friday 25 February 2011

Sustainability on the Coast took a giant leap forward today as Sunshine Coast Council agreed to invest $2.2 million, over the next two years, into three spearhead energy projects.

The move by council to secure funding for these projects at its Ordinary Meeting yesterday will help achieve key targets set in the Sunshine Coast Energy Transition Plan:

  • to be carbon-neutral as an organisation by 2020
  • to reduce crude oil-based fuel use by five per cent per year; and
  • to stimulate regional production of renewable energy into the grid of 40-megawatt capacity by 2015 and 100-megawatt capacity by 2020.

The three projects, identified in the plan include a clean energy and solar implementation program, a sustainable biodiesel project and energy efficiency measures across council’s buildings and facilities.

Environment Portfolio Councillor Keryn Jones said council’s fuel and electricity costs in 2009/10 amounted to $13.2 million and that these costs are predicted to rise into the future.

"These projects will enable council to reduce not only its costs, but more importantly its carbon emissions and reliance on oil into the future," Cr Jones said.

"Sustainability is about providing what we need today without compromising tomorrow—putting systems in place now means that we can limit the impact we are currently having as well as protecting our society, environment or economy into the future."

Economic Development Portfolio councillor Lew Brennan said that as the largest organisational entity in the region, council is able to lead the charge in developing the Coast’s alternative energy market.

"We recently put a call out to companies who were interested in supplying energy alternatives," Cr Brennan said.

"Through this process, council identified 56 potential companies who are interested in supplying services in the area of energy conservation and generation.

"For me this is one of the most positive decisions the Sunshine Coast Council has made to date.

"This is a real opportunity to diversify the Coast’s economic base, provide opportunity for innovative business and walk the talk when it comes to sustainability.

"Future growth of the Sunshine Coast will be possible if we have the systems to support it."

Council will now move forward with a range of actions as outlined in the Energy Transition Plan.