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City of Ballarat aiming for zero emissions target

The City of Ballarat will aim for an organisational zero emissions target by 2025 if its Carbon Neutrality and 100% Renewables Action Plan is endorsed.

The draft plan is on the agenda for the April 3 Ballarat City Council meeting and was developed in consultation with the Regional Sustainability Alliance Ballarat.

The plan provides advice to Council on how to support its community with emissions reduction initiatives and to capitalise on renewable energy opportunities.

The high priority items identified in the plan, and which have a confirmed business case, are estimated to cost $5 million with an average return on investment of about four years and annual savings of more than $1 million each year afterward.

As at 2018, the City of Ballarat’s greenhouse emissions were 39,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.

Commitment to major initiatives will reduce this to about 23,400 by the end of 2025, with other initiatives to be explored to achieve the zero target.

These initiatives include, but are not limited to:

  • Delivering the key outstanding actions from previous energy audits with return on investment of less than 10 years
  • Procuring certified renewable energy once the current contract ends at the end of 2020
  • Migrating from mercury vapour street lighting to LED
  • Significantly reducing Ballarat Aquatic and Lifestyle Centre electricity and gas use
  • Developing the All Waste Interchange in Ballarat West to divert waste from landfill of 70 per cent by 2022 and 85 per cent by 2028

Consultation on the plan occurred via an internal workshop and an external workshop with the Regional Sustainability Alliance Ballarat, a network of more than 20 organisations, not-for-profit and community groups that are sustainability leaders.