Low carbon finance to combat rising energy costs

Cardinia Shire’s premier health and recreation facility will receive a $739,163 energy efficiency overhaul to help it save on its power use and cut its greenhouse gas emissions.

Cardinia Shire Council has secured a grant for $369,582 from the Australian Government through the Community Energy Efficiency Program (CEEP) and Low Carbon Australia finance of $225,913 to carry out energy efficiency improvements at Cardinia Life in Pakenham, southeast of Melbourne.

Cardinia Shire Mayor Cr Ed Chatwin said the works would include upgrading Cardinia Life’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning, installation of a heat pump to replace its electric hot-water unit, a lighting upgrade and the installation of a microturbine cogeneration unit that would help the facility generate its own power.

“These grants are a key funding source which reduces the need for ratepayers’ money. Also, the operational cost of the facility is reduced, giving another saving to ratepayers,” he said.

Low Carbon Australia’s CEO Meg McDonald congratulated Cardinia Shire Council, for its leadership in energy efficiency, adding that it was one of the first in Australia to receive Low Carbon Australia finance for a cogeneration system in a pool complex.

“The Cardinia Life project is a win-win for the community and the environment with expected annual energy cost savings of over $75,000 as well as significantly reduced carbon emissions”.

“Projects like this don’t just produce one-off benefits for their communities. They continue to keep operating costs down and deliver environmental gains over the life of  the equipment.”

Ms McDonald said Low Carbon Australia had worked with several councils in Victoria and New South Wales, offering finance support towards their bids for CEEP funding.

Low Carbon Australia Limited is an independent company established by the Australian Government in 2010 to deliver innovative programs to help the move towards a low carbon economy.

Low Carbon Australia provides financial solutions to Australian business, government and the wider community to encourage action on energy efficiency, cost-effective carbon reductions, and accreditation for carbon neutral products and organisations.

Since commencing operations, Low Carbon Australia has contracted investments in excess of $35 million, generating a flow of new financing and markets to currently make available more than $115 million in new finance for energy efficiency in the marketplace. Low Carbon Australia has financed a range of individual energy efficiency projects, and significant investment partnerships with National Australia Bank & Eureka Funds Management, Alleasing, Origin, Macquarie Bank, FlexiGroup, Melbourne City Council and City of Sydney.