Recent electricity price increases and proposed further increases are driving many electricity customers to take steps to reduce consumption and install renewable energy.
Some of the most significant challenges for government, business and the community, are
• increasing concerns over climate change,
• managing energy supply to meet growing demand levels, and
• reducing the environmental impacts associated with energy use
Government at all levels are taking action to reduce energy consumption and to cut greenhouse gas emissions associated with the use of non renewable energy sources.
Just by taking simple actions around your home or business, you too can save money and help to protect our environment.
Energy efficiency simply means using less energy to provide the same service or achieve the same result. It’s about doing things smarter. From turning off appliances to using cold water in your washing machine, there are many simple things you can do to save energy in the home or office.
The NSW Government has recently announced a new initiative to help residents and small business save energy and money, including discounted energy efficient lighting, appliance replacement program, energy rebates, free training and webinars for business. To find out more visit Energy NSW
Here are some of Council’s energy smart tips:
• Wait for a full load in the dishwasher or washing machine
• Shorter showers and replace electric hot water systems with solar hot water.
• Replace light bulbs with energy efficient LED lighting
• Only heat or cool areas of your home that you are using.
• Set your heating/cooling a couple of degrees warmer in summer and colder in winter
• Reduce drafts by closing vents and draft stoppers under doors
• Install ceiling insulation
• Get rid of that almost empty second fridge
• Find out how much energy your household uses – grab a ‘Save Power Kit’ from the Macquarie Regional Library
• Understand how to read your household electricity bills and meter.
Alternatively, visit Energy NSW, or Business Energy Advice Program websites for more energy smart information.
Renewable energy is energy which is generated from natural sources (e.g. sun, wind, water, biomass). These are generally unlimited and are the cleanest sources of energy available. The most practical way for the average household to contribute to the reduction in greenhouse gases created during the production of electricity is to purchase renewable or ‘green’ energy from your electricity provider. For a few extra dollars per bill, your electricity provider will purchase energy produced from a renewable source on your behalf. For more information visit Green Power. Alternatively you may wish to investigate installing solar energy, such as solar hot water or solar panels, at home or the office, with further information being available at:
• Energy NSW
• Australian Government Clean Energy Regulator - Small Scale Renewable Energy Scheme
• Clean Energy Council- Guides and information on what you should know about buying and installing solar and battery storage systems. Plus tools to find a Clean Energy Council Approved Retailer or Accredited Installer.
• Australian Government’s Green Vehicle Guide
DUBBO REGIONAL COUNCIL ENERGY MANAGEMENT
A number of previous energy studies and plans have been developed for Dubbo Regional Council, including the 2014 Energy Strategy and Implementation Plan for the former Dubbo City Council, the 2012 Distributed Energy Plan for the former Dubbo City Council, the 2012 Distributed Energy Plan for Central NSW Councils, and Dubbo ALIVE 2009-2013. The recently adopted Energy Strategy and Implementation Plan will build upon the energy efficiency and renewable initiatives implemented under these studies and plans including:
- Electricity and emissions monitoring - E21 software
- Energy audits – 20 Council facilities
- Energy efficiency projects – 10 projects since 2014 including lighting and air conditioning upgrades, ceiling insulation, skylights, replacement hot water systems, lighting timers and sensors
- Renewable Energy Feasibility Studies
- Solar PV systems - 16 facilities, including solar installations at the Western Plains Cultural Centre (70kW), Hawthorne Street Depot (20 kW), and Barden Park (12 kW).
- Monitoring of solar energy production – e.g. Western Plains Cultural Centre & Dubbo Macquarie Regional Library using Sunny Portal
- Hybrid vehicles within small fleet
- Annual Dubbo Sustainable City Expo and Science Festival – community education
- Hosting of NRMA and Tesla EV charging stations at the Western Plains Cultural Centre in 2019
On 24 February 2020 Dubbo Regional Council adopted an Energy Strategy and Implementation Plan 2020 – 2025 (PDF 3.3MB) for its operations with the vision of becoming a leader in regional New South Wales in the reduction of energy consumption, increased energy efficiency and the continued adaptation to and use of renewable energy. The Strategy and Implementation Plan includes four key strategy areas with the following goals:
- Energy Efficiency - Council implements energy efficiency practices and improvements across its activities and operations.
- Renewable Energy - Council obtains 50% of its predicted electricity consumption* by 2025 from renewables, directly or by purchasing renewable energy.
- Sustainable Transport - Council plans for, and begins to transition to, a zero emissions fleet by 2025.
- Supporting Energy Smart Communities - The community is supported in becoming energy smart and ultimately adopts energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainable transport practices.
Council’s requirements for the development of an Energy Strategy and Implementation Plan had arisen from its 2040 Community Strategic Plan (CSP) which states under Strategy 126.96.36.199 that an energy strategy is to be prepared for Council facilities and buildings by the Division of Planning and Environment. Additional CSP strategies supporting the development of the Strategy and Implementation Plan include: 2.1 Opportunities for use of renewable energy are increased and 5.9 Environmental sustainability is a priority.
Cities Power Partnership
Dubbo Regional Council is now a member of the Cities Power Partnership Program, joining forces with councils across the country in an effort to accelerate Australia’s transition to a renewable energy future, and ultimately slash greenhouse gas pollution and tackle worsening climate change. The Climate Council’s Cities Power Partnership (CPP) program is Australia’s largest local government climate alliance with 125 member councils. Over one third of all NSW councils are members, including Albury, Bathurst, Orange, Parkes and Wagga Wagga.
The Cities Power Partnership is an important step in helping the Dubbo Region to transition to a renewable energy future and will assist Council with implementing its recently adopted Energy Strategy & Implementation Plan 2020 – 2025 for its operations. Councils taking part in the Cities Power Partnership program pledge to undertake five key actions to help reduce greenhouse gas pollution and tackle climate change locally. In the Dubbo Region, Council has selected the following five actions, all of which are identified in Council’s recently adopted Energy Strategy & Implementation Plan 2020 - 2025. The actions include:
- Install renewable energy (solar PV and battery storage) on council buildings
- Power council operations by renewable energy, and set targets to increase the level of renewable power for council operations over time.
- Create a revolving green energy fund to finance renewable energy projects.
- Adopt best practice energy efficiency measures across all council buildings, and support community facilities to adopt these measures.
- Roll out energy efficient lighting across the municipality.
Last Edited: 29 Nov 2021