A large-scale LED upgrade, extra funding for Environmental Upgrade Agreements and a swathe of rooftop solar projects will be rolled out following a $30 million financing agreement between the City of Melbourne and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.
And in a sign the federal government is shifting its approach to sustainability, and that the Sword of Damocles has finally been lifted from the CEFC, the announcement was delivered as a joint statement from the federal government and the City of Melbourne – perhaps the first time the Coalition government has actively promoted a CEFC project.
“I am delighted the Australian Government, through the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, is investing in energy efficiency,” environment minister Greg Hunt said.
“The Turnbull Government is committed to lowering power bills and lowering emissions.”
The upgrade will involve $14.8 million to replace public lighting with more than 16,000 LEDs, which is expected to save the city $1.1 million a year in reduced electricity bills and cut greenhouse gas emissions by 110,000 tonnes over 10 years.
$10 million will also go to the Sustainable Melbourne Fund to help finance EUAs.
“Subject to state government regulatory approval, this money will be used to expand the SMF’s work to retrofit commercial property,” the joint statement said.
$800,000 will be spent on solar PV systems on council buildings, such as the Carlton Baths and Carlton Resource Centre, while $4.4 million is being earmarked for additional sustainability initiatives, based on the outcomes of a five-year council emissions reduction plan.
“The City of Melbourne takes its leadership role in the area of sustainability seriously,” Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said.
“You don’t get to be the most liveable city in the world without a strong focus on sustainability and prosperity.”
The City of Melbourne has a goal of becoming net zero by 2020, with a 25 per cent renewable target by 2018 key to the achievement.