In 2017 it was identified that a major barrier for Council to invest in carbon reduction initiatives was a lack of funding. In response to this, a Carbon Revolving Reserve (CRR) was established. The CRR was created using money set aside for the carbon pricing mechanism which was revoked in 2014.
A significant benefit of this type of revolving reserve is that it’s on-going – once an investment has been made, the financial savings achieved (e.g. from electricity savings) are diverted back into the reserve.
The set-up of the CRR allowed Council to adopt the Carbon Abatement Action Plan (CAAP) to implement projects identified as reducing both carbon emissions and operational costs. Currently the CRR has committed $1.6 million to energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.
The completed and committed projects will generate over $300,000 of operational electricity and fuel savings per year – enabling a further $1.5 million of investment in carbon reduction initiatives over the next 5 years.
Council also looks for any relevant grant opportunities to assist with funding. Earlier in 2019 Council applied for the Accelerated Public Lighting Grant from the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) to contribute to the street light upgrade, and was successfully awarded $242,000 towards the project.