Recognition shines on Singleton Council with achievement of sustainable goals

26/08/22

Completion of a $1million solar project to install panels at 12 key facilities has seen Singleton Council recognised as one of only two Hunter councils to tick off one of their Cities Power Partnership pledges.

Singleton Council joined the Cities Power Partnership in 2020, becoming one of more than 165 councils from across the country representing almost 65 per cent of the Australian population in leading the way to a thriving, zero emissions future.

Each member council must make five action pledges to address climate change. Singleton’s adopted pledges are:

  1. Install renewable energy (solar PV and battery storage) on Council buildings, for example childcare facilities, libraries, street lighting, recreation centres, sporting grounds and Council offices.
  2. Implement an education and behaviour change program to influence the behaviour of Council officers, local residents and businesses within the Local Government Area (LGA) to drive the shift to renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainable transport.
  3. Adopt best practice energy efficiency measures across all Council buildings, and support community facilities to adopt these measures.
  4. Provide fast-charging infrastructure throughout the LGA at key locations for electric vehicles.
  5. Set LGA-level renewable energy or emissions reduction targets and sustainable energy policies to provide a common goal and shared expectations for local residents and businesses.

 Mayor of Singleton, Cr Sue Moore said Council was committed to sustainability in all its forms, including economic, social and environmental, and the Cities Power Partnership was a positive way to join with other councils as well as raise Singleton’s accountability.

“It’s a great reinforcement for Council and our community that we’ve ticked off one of our five goals to install renewable energy on Council buildings within just two years,” she said.

“What’s more, we’re on track against our remaining four pledges as well.

“One of our Operational Plan actions for 2022/2023 is to investigate requirements and implications of achieving net zero emissions in line with NSW Government objectives, and we have engaged 100% Renewables to develop an Emissions Reduction Action Plan including pathways for emissions reduction and target recommendations.

“The project commenced in June and will be completed by December this year to help inform decision making around an emissions reduction target for Council.”

The $1million solar project to install panels at12 key Council sites was completed early this year. The investment is expected to be paid off in seven years with total energy savings calculated at $126,652 per year.

In addition, Council now purchases half of its electricity for large and small sites from the Moree Solar Farm project along with other NSW Councils through the Program for Energy and Environmental Risk Solutions (PEERS) agreement.

A total of 840 energy efficient LEDs has also been installed across Singleton as part of the Street Lighting Improvement Program established by the Southern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (SSROC). The projected decrease in energy usage and emissions from street lighting is more than 76 per cent and equates to a reduction of 244.9 tonnes of CO2 each year.

Cr Moore said households were also being encouraged to examine their own energy use by borrowing a Save Power Kit from Singleton Public Library, which provides a range of tools to help save power and energy.

“The difficulty with any action or intention around an issue as big as climate change and sustainability is that it seems so big, and any progress seems insignificant,” Cr Moore said.

“But with one tick already against our Cities Power Partnership pledges and plenty of other initiatives underway, we are leading the way as an example for our community that small steps add up to big achievements.”

ENDS