Local governments, community projects and inspirational staff members were rewarded for climate action at the recent Climate Council’s Cities Power Partnership Awards.
The ACT government took out the two energy awards in the renewable energy and energy efficiency categories for its Next Gen Energy Storage Program and Energy Efficiency Improvement Scheme respectively.
The Next Gen Energy Storage Program aims to rollout solar battery storage to thousands of homes and businesses across the ACT by subsidising their installation under a system similar to that used by the federal government in its Renewable Energy Target small-scale rooftop solar incentive scheme.
The Territory’s Energy Efficiency Improvement Scheme was introduced in 2013 and has since delivered 1.3 million energy saving solutions to more than 74,000 households and businesses, a quarter of which are low income households. Solutions include LED lighting, standby power controllers, draught sealers and energy efficient appliances.
NSW’s City of Newcastle took out the Sustainable Transport Achievement Award for its Smart Moves Newcastle project that integrates new technologies such as solar and battery powered electric vehicle charge points and smart bus stops to improve access and sustainability for the city’s transport network.
The City of Newcastle was also recognised for the work of its program coordinator for city innovation and sustainability, Adam Clark, who took out the Climate Champion Award for his contribution to driving the city’s climate response.
“[The City of Newcastle] is focused on reducing our emissions, supporting new industries and doing our bit to tackle climate change,” Mr Clark said, “investing in energy efficiency, our solar farm, waste reduction and now leading the charge on sustainable transport.”
The Blue Mountains City Council’s Carbon Revolving Reserve Fund earned it the top spot in the Project Financing Innovation category. The Fund is dedicated to financing renewable energy and climate projects, which lead to savings that in turn finance future investment, program leader Rebecca Tempest explained.
“Savings from those projects enable us to invest in even more projects,” she said, “saving our community money while reducing carbon emission.”
In Victoria, the City of Port Phillip and Albert Park Kindergarten took out the Community Engagement Achievement Award for their combined efforts under The Butterfly Effect project.
Over six years the pair have worked towards making Albert Park Kindergarten carbon neutral by installing solar panels, batteries, and heat pump, and swapping to energy efficient LED lighting. If successful in achieving carbon neutral certification, they claim this will be a national first.
Finally, Cr Tony Wellington, Mayor of Noosa Shire Council received the Ambassador Award for his leadership in driving climate action.
Director of the Cities Power Partnership, David Craven, said of Cr Wellington that it was hard to imagine a more committed and consistently passionate climate ambassador.
“He was an early champion of climate change and hasn’t wavered since,” Mr Carven said.
Full list of award winners:
Renewable Energy Achievement Award
ACT Government, Next Gen Energy Storage Program
Energy Efficiency Achievement
ACT Government, Energy Efficiency Improvement Scheme
Sustainable Transport Achievement Award
City of Newcastle, Smart Moves Newcastle
Community Engagement Achievement Award
Albert Park Kindergarten and City of Port Phillip, The Butterfly Effect project
Project Financing Innovation Award
Blue Mountains City Council, Carbon Revolving Reserve
Ambassador Award (elected representative)
Cr Tony Wellington, Mayor of Noosa Shire Council
Climate Champion Award (council staff)
Adam Clarke, Program Coordinator, City Innovation and Sustainability, City of Newcastle