Newcastle installs world’s first ClimateCam

Article image - Newcastle installs world’s first ClimateCam

Earlier this year, Newcastle City Council erected a huge electronic billboard in the City Square telling residents exactly how much greenhouse gas they have produced in the past hour.

ClimateCam, the world’s first greenhouse gas speedometer, displays electricity consumption information collected from 15 substations that supply homes and businesses in the Newcastle Local Government area. By tracking this usage and linking it to other greenhouse emissions from waste, natural gas and transport, ClimateCam can measure the progress of energy saving actions.

Installation of the ClimateCam builds on the success of a major review and retrofit of Newcastle City Council’s 10 largest facilities to reduce energy and water use.

Council’s City Energy and Resource Manager, Peter Dormand, said Council achieved a 40 per cent ($400,000 per annum) reduction in energy, a 25 per cent ($200,000 per annum) saving in water bills and an overall reduction in greenhouse emissions of 23 per cent.

“Council has become a lot smarter with how we use energy and water and through our ClimateCam for Councils initiative, we can now transfer this knowledge to other communities,” he said.

Newcastle is offering schools, businesses, households and other Councils advice on reducing their emissions.

ClimateCam for Councils provides practical information and strategies to show Local Governments how to save money, help the environment and engage the community by reducing energy and water consumption and resultant greenhouse gas emissions.

“We show the importance of our motto, ‘if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it’ and explain that it needs to function within a broader 14 step strategic framework,” Peter Dormand said. “By showcasing each of the 14 steps and using local project examples, participants are able to join the dots and see the way forward for their own community.”

As part of the ClimateCam for Councils initiative, 60 people from 22 Councils throughout Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria visited Newcastle in October. They took part in a two day intensive learning program to find new ways to save money and help the environment.

Participants learnt about topics specific to Local Governments, ranging from projects for households, schools and businesses, to alternative fuels, lighting retrofits and green purchasing.

ClimateCam for Councils builds on the success of Newcastle’s former Green Energy Learning Programs, which were delivered to over 180 Councils in Australia and New Zealand between 1999 and 2003.This self funded business unit showed Local Governments throughout Australia and internationally how to profitably reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

For further information on ClimateCam visit www.climatecam.com.