The City of Whittlesea has slashed its power bills and reduced emissions after signing a history-making renewable energy agreement.
Council has reaped economic and environmental benefits since becoming a signatory to the Victorian Energy Collaboration (VECO) last year.
The VECO agreement features a nine and half year contract with the Snowy Hydro-owned retailer Red Energy to supply renewable energy to 51 participating Victorian councils.
This investment in renewables - the largest emissions reduction project by local governments in Australia - has delivered electricity about 25 per cent cheaper during the agreement’s first year.
The focus on renewable energy means about 172,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions have been saved by councils, which is the equivalent of taking 66,000 cars off the road.
The City of Whittlesea alone has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 13,944 tonnes and saved an estimated $216,726 on its power bills – money that can be spent on other critical council services.
Chair Administrator Lydia Wilson said the VECO agreement was a key component of Council’s commitment to meeting its sustainability goal under the Whittlesea 2040 plan.
She said the VECO project’s first year results demonstrated the merits of working collaboratively with 50 other councils to achieve common goals.
“This is a wonderful result for our community and continues the amazing work Council is doing to address climate change and create a sustainable environment,” she said.
The renewable energy flowing to participating councils is provided by two wind farms in Victoria – Dundonnell Wind Farm near Mortlake and Murra Warra II Wind Farm near Horsham.
Red Energy CEO Iain Graham said the Melbourne-based retailer was 100 per cent Australian-owned and as such it was pleasing to be able to support Victorian councils and deliver results for ratepayers.
“The VECO contract is a great example of where collaboration across local government can achieve valuable savings on energy costs as well as greenhouse gas emissions,” he said.
“At a time of tremendous volatility in the energy market, the deal has delivered 51 councils reliable renewable energy.”
The VECO project is being facilitated by Glen Eira City Council after Darebin City Council led the procurement process.