Friday, May 20, 2011

Streetlighting changeover - emissions reduction

One of the larger new initiatives in this years draft budget is $1m of a $2m program to convert and upgrade the muncipalities streetlights to more modern energy efficient T5 globes.

This program once completed will reduce council's total emmissions by approx 14%.This is an even more significant with the new GESAC sports and aquatic centre opening in late 2011. This major facilty will run 24/7 and be powered primarily from conventional coal-fired energy (showers only from solar).

The prospect of Glen Eira becoming a carbon neutral council have become inctreasingly remote in the present circumstances. The streetlight conversion is one of the most cost effective way of reducing councils emissions with a payback period of around six/seven years - the change over will deliver savings in the order of $300k given the forecast of rising electricity costs and I was supportive of this program.

Unfortunately in my view one of the casualities of providing funding for streetlight program has been the freezing of Council's purchasing of Greenpower for its facilities at 25% - instead of continueing an annual 5% rise as identified in the Environmental Sustainability Strategy (ESS).

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