Council environmental management
The City of Newcastle has a proud history in energy efficiency improvements and on taking mitigatory action on climate change.
Over the delivery of the Greenhouse Action in Newcastle (GAIN) 2001-08 Plan, Council reduced its carbon emissions by 13.6% below 1995 year levels, despite the addition of new facilities (such as the Wallsend District Library) and operations (such as the heating of Lambton Pool) during this time.
Council has established a series of aspirational goals to achieve further progress towards financial and environmental sustainability; including using energy, water and liquid fuels more efficiently; minimising waste and maximising resource recovery; and obtaining our electricity from low carbon sources.
A majority of this work will be achieved through the delivery of the Newcastle Smart Buildings Smart Workforce project.
Other projects that we are currently working on include:
Solar PV: Installation of a large-scale solar photovoltaic system at the City Works Depot and a small-scale system at Summerhill Waste Management Centre.
Energy, Water and Waste Monitoring and Reporting: Implementation of an online monitoring and reporting system for Council's operations, including the installation of smart metering systems at key Council sites. This will allow Council to accurately track and report on its resource consumption, waste generation and carbon emissions.
Energy Efficiency Upgrades: such as Newcastle Regional Museum showcase lighting upgrade, which included the replacement of 300 x 35 Watt halogen down lights with 6 Watt LED down lights and a custom dimming system. This project cost $24,000 and will deliver annual savings of 41,400 kWh (about $8,000).
Smart Building Dashboards: Development of building dashboards for key Council sites that will present data from the online monitoring and reporting system. The dashboards will be displayed on monitors at the relevant sites and also be made available to staff through Council's intranet site.
Water: Detailed water audits of our large consuming sites in order to understand water demand and identify consumption reduction measures. These measures will include the development of turf specific irrigation schedules and installation of instrumentation and systems to measure moisture, wind and likelihood of rain. This will result in a change in the irrigation of sports grounds and parks to an as need basis rather than preset intervals.
Waste: The roll out of recycling bins across Council's operations in line with the ClimateCam for Council program.
Liquid Fuels: Council passenger vehicles now use an E10 ethanol blend and the majority of our small diesel fleet use a B20 biodiesel blend. Alternative fuels vehicles currently being trialled in Council's fleet include a Mitsubishi i-MiEV Electric Vehicle, common rail turbo diesel Hyundai i30 and a Holden Omega that runs on E85.
To find out more, please phone (02) 4974 2549.