We are committed to a sustainable and non-polluting energy future. Our community strategic plan Albury 2030 identifies the main priorities and aspirations for the future of the city, including focusing on growing a sustainable economy and enhancing the natural environment. Albury 2030 specifically identifies the importance of promoting clean and renewable energy initiatives as well as investigating and encouraging energy-saving initiatives to residents, industry and business.
We have committed to and acted on a number of initiatives relating to renewable energy and energy efficiency. Initial actions have focused on understanding our energy demands, usage patterns and key sites through energy audits and detailed site and asset reviews. Key areas for consideration have included lighting, heating, ventilation and air conditioning, solar opportunities and our water/wastewater facilities. This approach has encouraged a whole of organisation approach to energy management involving Asset Maintenance, Finance, Design, Operations and Sustainability staff to ensure a holistic rollout of energy saving measures across Council.
We joined the Cities Power Partnership in 2017 to reinforce our commitment and continue our focus on energy management. The Cities Power Partnership will provide opportunities to share knowledge, experiences and expertise in this area across Australia that will improve our take-up and adoption of new practices and technology further enhancing the outcomes that would otherwise have been achieved.
The Cities Power Partnership (CPP) is an initiative of the Australian Climate Council that seeks to partner local government in celebrating and accelerating reductions in emissions and clean energy successes. The partnership requires a signatory council to commit to five pledges and report to progress against each pledge twice a year. These pledges are nominated by a local council from a broad range of pledges covering renewable energy, energy efficiency, transport and working together and influence.
The following pledges form part of our commitment under the CPP initiative:
Implement an education and behaviour change program to influence the behaviour of council officers, local residents and businesses within the municipality to drive the shift to renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainable transport
Adopt best practice energy efficiency measures across all council buildings, and support community facilities to adopt these measures
Power council operations by renewables, directly (with solar PV or wind), or by purchasing Green power (from electricity retailers). Set targets to increase the level of renewable power for council operations over time
Support community energy projects (with location and planning support) so that residents (such as renters) can band together and invest in community renewable energy projects.
Encourage sustainable transport use (public transport, walking and cycling) through Council transport planning and design. Substantial savings in transport energy use can be achieved by designing more compact cities with access to high quality public and active transport services and facilities
We have already made significant progress against a number of these through our Energy Savings Action Plan. This plan provides a four year schedule of energy saving measures covering renewable energy, energy efficiency and audit and assessment.