Western Sydney councils launch sustainable energy program

Nine Western Sydney councils have launched the Western Sydney Energy Program (WSEP) — a new strategy to slash emissions and boost energy savings for a more sustainable, affordable energy future.

Coordinated by the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC), the program aims to reduce Western Sydney’s emissions by 200,000 tonnes of CO2e each year.

WSEP will focus on four key areas: renewable energy; transport infrastructure; supporting communities; and implementing best practice in energy planning and design for buildings and precincts.

“Councils are already achieving remarkable goals in projects geared towards a low-emissions future, embracing projects and technologies such as increased solar installations and low-carbon vehicles,” WSROC President Cr Barry Calvert said.

“Successful programs to date — both WSROC-led and individual council initiatives — have already saved more than $1.2 million and almost 500,000 tCO2e annually through lighting and equipment upgrades, waste management, solar installations and smart technology initiatives.

“The Western Sydney Energy Program will assist us to align and maximise our efforts. Ensuring Western Sydney is prepared to transition to an energy-efficient, low-carbon future is critical for community wellbeing.

“The region’s rapid population growth and hot climate are putting pressure on our electricity grid and causing electricity bills to rise. Action is needed to ensure affordable and reliable power into the future.

“The challenge for the WSEP is to work towards new approaches to energy in policy, planning and design. We want to support councils to establish an aligned position that incorporates best practice, so that future development is cost-effective and futureproofed.”

Initial projects include the development of a renewable energy PPA, a business support program and building design guidelines for councils. Additional projects will be scoped as the WSEP continues to roll out.

Councils participating in the program include Blacktown City Council, Blue Mountains City Council, Cumberland City Council, Fairfield City Council, Hawkesbury City Council, The Hills Shire Council, Lithgow City Council, Liverpool City Council and the City of Parramatta.

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