Council has an overarching commitment to be carbon neutral (net zero emissions) by 2030. This goal necessitates Council examining all facets of its operations including its building and facilities energy consumption (both electricity and gas) as well as vehicles, plant and equipment. The Renewable Energy Action Plan recommends Council first begin to understand and control energy usage, such that energy efficiency measures can be undertaken to reduce the investment required to achieve 100% renewable consumption. Smart metering, alterations to procurement policies and practices, as well as staff KPIs represent some of the first steps in achieving this.
Vehicles, plant, and equipment (blowers, mowers, etc.,) represent a challenge which can be largely managed through offsetting or substitution when leases expire or equipment approaches end of life. This will depend on financial factors, the appetite of Council for innovation/leadership and even the practicality of developing alternative fuels in Armidale. The report also examines how Council may benefit from participating directly in the ownership and/or management of renewable energy technology. In addition, being located in the New England Renewable Energy Zone (REZ), is likely to see Council well positioned to bargain for competitive pricing with local renewable energy suppliers via an energy retailer. Further, as the renewable energy market evolves, new energy storage options are emerging at competitive cost which include large scale battery banks and hydrogen. All benefiting the energy consumption of Armidale Regional Council with the possibility to scale and extend initiatives so that they may benefit the wider community.
Armidale Regional Council Renewable Energy Action Plan (PDF 2.2MB)
Council summary of submissions received (PDF 305.5KB)
Submissions - Public Exhibition period 30 August to 26 September 2022 - Renewable Energy Action Plan (PDF 1.4MB)