New electricity contract to save $800,000
  • Tuesday 14 October 2008

Sunshine Coast Council will save more than $800,000 over the next three years in electricity costs for street lighting after negotiating a new contract with Energy Australia.

In a report to councillors at today’s Organisation Performance Committee meeting, council heard that the contract, which will result in a $200,000 saving this financial year alone, was a result of greater buying power.

Regional Manager, Financial Strategy Paul Warren said that the State Government’s July announcement advising council that electricity costs for its 26,000 streetlights would increase by 73 per cent, had left council to deal with a $1m shortfall in its 2008/09 budget.

“Council joined the State’s Department of Main Roads and other local government authorities, including Moreton Bay and the Gold Coast, to go to the market with greater buying power.

“The result is that we have new electricity supplier, Energy Australia and cost savings of $200,000 for the 2008/09 budget year and $808,000 over the three years of the contract.”

Council’s Financial Management Portfolio holder, councillor Chris Thompson, said that council had reacted quickly to the short notice of retail contestability for electricity supplied for street lighting.

“Swift action was needed to ensure we secured the best electricity prices on the contestable market,” Cr Thompson said.

“Council led discussions with other South East Queensland councils, the Local Government Association and the Department of Main Roads, in order to find the best new contract.

“An evaluation panel made up of local council representatives and the Department of Main Roads concluded that Energy Australia was able to offer the most substantial savings.

“Council will continue to implement and research energy saving initiatives across the region in an effort to find further cost cuts.”

The report recommending that the appointment of the new supplier and the associated savings was referred to the Ordinary Meeting of council to be held at the Caloundra office on Thursday 23 October.