Newcastle City Council 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 per cent 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.
Through the Newcastle 2020 Carbon and Water Management Action Plan, Council has established a series of goals to achieve further progress towards financial and environmental sustainability. By 2020, Newcastle City Council aims to achieve the following energy and resource management goals:
- 30% carbon footprint reduction*
- 50% potable water usage reduction*
- 30% electricity usage reduction*
- 20% reduction* in our use of fossil-based liquid fuels
- 30% of our electricity supplied from low carbon sources
- 80% of Newcastle's streetlights using best practice energy technology.
* Over 2008-09 levels. # Over 2010 levels.
How we are achieving our goals
The majority of the work is being achieved through the delivery of Newcastle Smart Buildings Smart Workforce and other projects including:
Solar PV: Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems have been installed at the Newcastle Art Gallery (86.25 kW), City Works Depot at Waratah (91.26 kW), Newcastle City Library (44.28 kW), Wallsend Library (80.08 kW), New Lambton Library (9.9 kW), No.1 Sportsground (10.2 kW), No.2 Sportsground (20.16 kW) and the Newcastle Museum (99.75 kW). This brings the total amount of solar PV installed on Council-owned buildings to 442 kW. In addition, a small-scale (2.5 kW) wind turbine is in operation at the 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: 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. These building dashboards will present data from the online monitoring and reporting system. The dashboards will be displayed on monitors at the relevant sites.
Water: Detailed water audits of our large consuming sites have been undertaken. These audits enabled Council to understand our water demand and to implement consumption reduction measures.
Liquid Fuels: Council passenger vehicles now use an E10 ethanol blend and the majority of our small diesel fleet use a biodiesel blend.
Support for Newcastle businesses
Newcastle City Council works with Newcastle businesses and organisations through the Energy Hunter program and Environmental Upgrade Agreements. This is to facilitate and improve the uptake of energy efficiency, solar PV and smart technologies across the Newcastle local government area.
To find out more contact Energy & Resource Management in the Projects & Contracts Unit on 02 4974 2000.