Switched on to renewable energy

The City of Greater Geelong has joined with 47 other Victorian councils to form Australia’s largest ever buying group to make the switch to 100 per cent renewable energy.

The councils have come together to drive investment in renewable energy, resulting in the pooling of 250GWh of electricity.

This is the equivalent of powering 47,000 homes with renewable energy or taking 87,000 cars off the road each year.

It is the largest ever emissions reduction project undertaken by local government in Australia, aggregating about 45 per cent of all Victorian Council electricity consumption.

The City has agreed to join the program to:

  • Deliver financial savings and long-term certainty;
  • Improve the value proposition by working together as a buyers’ group to fix lower retail prices; and
  • To take decisive action to reduce our carbon emissions.

Participating councils will be using renewable energy to power municipal offices, leisure centres, streetlights and community buildings.

As each council’s existing electricity contract expires, they will transfer over to the new contract for each of their nominated accounts.

The City is working towards having the new contracts in place by the end of 2020.

This would help us meet a 50 per cent reduction in emissions from Council buildings and vehicle fleet, based on 2014-15 levels.

That 50 per cent by 2020 target was set in our Zero Carbon Emissions Strategy, which was endorsed in April 2017.

The renewable energy contract is expected to be between seven to 10 years in length.

The project has been initiated and facilitated by the Victorian Greenhouse Alliances and Darebin City Council, with support from the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV).

MAV is undertaking all procurement activities relating to the tender process and ongoing contract management.

City of Greater Geelong Mayor Bruce Harwood
“We are committed to meeting our emissions reduction target, and switching to maximum renewable energy capacity will help us achieve this. By joining 47 other councils in this major buying collective, we will help drive investment in renewables in Victoria, increase energy stability and reduce retail energy prices.”

City of Greater Geelong Councillor Sarah Mansfield, Chair, Environment and Sustainability portfolio
“This collaboration with several other councils marks a major step towards reducing carbon emissions in the Geelong region. It also demonstrates the potential of working collectively to reduce carbon emissions over a much bigger footprint. There are numerous, long-term environmental, economic and financial benefits from moving towards cleaner energy, for the City and community.”