Coffs Harbour to buy all renewable energy

In a move that will help cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent, Coffs Harbour City Council will source only renewable energy for all future electricity needs.

Deputy Mayor, Councillor Ian Ovens, said it is now widely accepted that greenhouse gas emissions have a direct impact on the environment – most noticeably through changed weather patterns.

“By only buying Green Energy, we are playing our part in the global challenge to cut greenhouse gas emissions, which has to be a number one priority,” he said.

Green Energy is renewable energy obtained from non fossil fuel sources that cannot be depleted – such as solar, wind, biomass (waste), wave or hydro.

Hydroelectric power and landfill biogas from sources established before 1997 are referred to as ‘old’ renewable energy, while ‘new’ renewable energy or Green Power includes wind, hydro, solar, biomass and anaerobic digesters developed since 1997. Sourcing energy from old and new renewable sources is packaged together by New South Wales regional based energy company, Country Energy, as ‘Forever Green’.

At its meeting in March, Council voted to adopt a policy of buying 100 per cent Forever Green power for its facilities, resulting in the prevention of 15,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide reaching the atmosphere every year. This will take effect from July 2007.

Other energy saving measures already introduced in Coffs Harbour’s Council operations include:

  • high efficiency fluorescent lights and control gear in Council buildings
  • energy efficient street lighting, which cuts carbon dioxide emissions by 650 tonnes a year; Coffs Harbour City Council believes it is the only Council in Australia to have installed energy efficient street lighting across the entire Local Government area
  • variable speed drives in water and sewer pump stations
  • the trial of LPG vehicles
  • the inclusion of four cylinder cars in vehicle fleet
  • solar heating at the Municipal Pool
  • power factor correction in Council buildings
  • energy efficient design in new Council buildings and facilities.

“With the implementation of this further step towards sustainability, Coffs Harbour will be one of the most greenhouse friendly cities in Australia and, in fact, the world,” Councillor Ovens said.

For further information contact Coffs Harbour’s Acting Resource Recovery Manager, Jeff Green, on (02) 6648 4000.