The City of Melbourne has gained access to $30 million in finance from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to help it reach its target of zero net emissions by 2020.
The finance from the CEFC will is help the City to accelerate its program of works, reduce its energy use and carbon emissions, and encouraging commercial property owners in the City to implement their own energy saving initiatives.
Nearly half of the money – $14.8 million – will be used to retrofit public lighting with more than 16,000 energy efficient LEDs; an upgrade that is expected to save the City more than $1 million a year on its electricity bills.
Another $10 million is earmarked for the Sustainable Melbourne Fund (SMF) to finance Environmental Upgrade Agreements, with a focus on retrofitting commercial property.
A sum of $800,000 will be put towards completing the installation of 300kW of rooftop solar panels on Council and community facilities, including the Carlton Baths and Carlton Resource Centre.
While $4.4 million will be put aside for other sustainability initiatives, based on the outcomes of a five-year Council emission reduction plan.
CEFC CEO Oliver Yates said the City of Melbourne was at the forefront of Australian councils taking proactive steps to reduce carbon emissions. And that the agency was keen to support other councils to go down the same path.
Last year the City of Melbourne joined with like-minded local governments and businesses to launch a Request for Information Process, with the aim of “challenging the market” to supply the right renewable energy solutions at the right price.
The idea, said Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle last November, was “to combine our purchasing power and signal our interest in securing a competitive price for a long term electricity supply from renewable sources.
“We hope this scale of demand will stimulate investment in a new renewable energy project that is shovel-ready and has planning approvals in place,” he said.