Council’s Carbon Abatement Action Plan (CAAP) was adopted in 2016 to identify and implement projects that demonstrate reduced carbon emissions as well as reduced operational costs. Since putting the plan in place, Council has seen a 25% reduction in operational carbon emissions.
Last year Council completed two major carbon emissions reductions projects as part of the CAAP:
- The upgrade of 36% of Blue Mountains streetlights to LEDs; and
- The installation of 289kW of solar panels on five large Council sites.
These projects are on track to deliver $225,000 of combined energy savings and reduce carbon emissions by 1,080 tonnes of CO2e annually – successfully outperforming original estimates.
Council also worked on a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for renewable energy. Unfortunately this project had a number of disappointing setbacks, but securing a PPA is firmly back on the agenda for 2020-2021.
CAAP projects approved for 2020-2021
- Facilities lighting upgrade to LED;
- Solar panels for Blackheath and Katoomba caravan parks;
- Environmentally Sustainable Design Policy for Council Buildings, establishing best practice standards for new Council buildings and large upgrades;
- Equipment replacement specifications for trades and contractors;
- Off-site Power Purchase Agreement for renewable energy; and
- Review barriers and opportunities to the introduction of some electric vehicles in BMCC fleet.
Net zero target
In 2019 Council adopted the target of reaching net zero emissions from operations by the end of 2025, joining a growing number of local governments across Australia to show much needed action on climate change.