Further carbon footprint reduction

A $107,000 investment by Kiama Council’s Revolving Energy Fund in a photovoltaic power system at the Kiama Leisure Centre is expected to reduce the Centre’s electricity bill by more than $15,000 a year.

These savings will be used to pay back the cost of the new system to the Fund, enabling it to invest in other energy saving projects.

The Fund was established in 2017 to finance energy-efficiency installations and upgrades to Council buildings and infrastructure, as a result of Council’s commitment to the Cities Power Partnership.

It has already delivered a photovoltaic system for Kiama Library and funded an LED upgrade for all 80W streetlights in the Municipality.

The Leisure Centre is Council’s most energy-intensive facility, given the need to power the swimming pool filtration and heating systems. Issues with the roof had to be overcome before the energy saving system could be installed.

“The Leisure Centre now has a 99.6kW photovoltaic system which will produce around 148,000 kWh of electricity per year,” says Council’s Director Environmental Services, Jessica Rippon.

“That is approximately 25 to 30 per cent of the Centre’s annual power consumption

“This means an emissions saving of 128 tonnes of CO2 a year.”

Deputy Mayor Andrew Sloan is keen for the momentum to reduce Council’s carbon footprint to continue.

“As inaugural members of the Cities Power Partnership, Kiama Council formally Further carbon footprint reduction committed to take greater steps to reduce our carbon emissions.

“Our five pledges have guided us over the last three years and one of the benefits of being part of this network is the sharing of information amongst councils about cost-effective responses to global warming.

“Many councils are now banding together to enter into bulk renewable energy Power Purchase Agreements directly with the generators as they push towards the goal of net zero emissions.

“I hope that we will soon be working with our neighbours on a similar agreement.”

He thinks the next project for the Fund should be the installation of solar power at The Pavilion.

“It needs to include electric vehicle charging stations for the benefit of both locals and visitors,” he says.

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