The City of Newcastle (NSW) said it has estimated it could save up to $4.8m of ratepayers’ money over the next 25 years if it switched to 100 percent renewable electricity.
The City said as its electricity contract expires on 13 December, now is the appropriate time to move toward more sustainable and cost-efficient electricity sources from 2020.
“It’s City of Newcastle’s aim to be a leader in renewable energy as part of our strategy to be a global smart city,” Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.
“Around 70 per cent of the respondents to our Winter Community Survey supported the City moving towards a 100 per cent renewable energy target, which sends us a strong message.
“The survey also identified increasing the use of renewable energy as one of the community’s highest ranked measures to reduce impacts on the environment.”
Lord Mayor Nelmese added that the City is already using half a megawatt of solar generated electricity to power ten sites, including the Newcastle Museum, while an additional five megawatts will soon come on-line from the Summerhill Waste Management Centre solar farm.
Meanwhile, the ACT Government – which will by the end of 2019 become the first Australian jurisdiction to derive all its electricity from renewables – intends to now focus on lowering emissions from its transport sector.
Climate Change Minister, Shane Rattenbury, said the ACT was near its target of making electric vehicles comprise 50 percent of its newly leased vehicles for government fleets by 2020, and 100 percent by 2021.
The cost of running an electric vehicle was 3c/kilowatt hour, compared to 10-12c for the fossil fuel equivalent, resulting in a saving of $1,500 per vehicle each year, meaning leasing a vehicle over four years was cost comparative, The Driven reported.