Maroondah City Council is a carbon neutral organisation that is building resilience to the effects of climate change
Council is taking action on climate change in two ways.
We are looking at:
- ways we can reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, which give rise to climate change. To guide our work we developed a Carbon Neutral Strategy The Strategy includes many actions that will help Council meet its target to reduce Council’s greenhouse gas emissions by 20% below the 2010/11 levels. A major initiative of the Strategy is the replacement of streetlights to more energy efficient lighting options.
- how we should adapt our services to respond the localised impacts of climate change. Council is a member the Eastern Alliance for Greenhouse Action (EAGA). In 2014 EAGA undertook a regional risk assessment of the impacts to Councils arising from climate change. These impacts are likely to include heatwaves, droughts, bushfires, flooding and storms. Climate change predictions forecast many of the impacts to increase in severity and frequency. To respond to these findings, and reduce these risks, Council has prepared a Climate Change Risk and Adaptation Strategy.
Further initiatives Council has been pursuing include:
- In October 2019 Council endorsed proceeding with Environmental Upgrade Finance (EUF). This is a financing mechanism enabling Maroondah building owners to better access finance (lower rates and longer terms) for environmental upgrades to existing non-residential buildings. An EUF is a three-party agreement between a building owner (borrower), a financial institution (lender) and a Local Government Authority (LGA). An Environmental Upgrade Agreement (EUA) is used to levy an Environmental Upgrade Charge on the property which is payable back to the lender through the rates system. This is an approach, consistent with Maroondah 2040 and Council’s Sustainability Strategy, that Council is using to support industries and enterprises to prosper and develop by facilitating low carbon businesses, stimulating a green economy, and facilitating resource efficient businesses.
- Hosting the Eastern Alliance for Greenhouse Action(EAGA). EAGA is a formal collaboration of eight Councils in Melbourne’s east, working together on regional programs that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and facilitate regional adaptation. Much of Council,s advocacy work on matters relating to climate change is undertaken through the collective work of the Councils of EAGA. See further information on EAGA.
- The Maroondah Environment Advisory Committee was established in 2014 to inform and advise council on environmental and sustainability issues and Council’s role in improving the environment in Maroondah. It comprises Councillors and community representatives of local environmental groups. The Committee has a strong interest in supporting initiatives that respond to the challenges of climate change.
- Council has commenced a new environmentally sustainable design function to provide advice to the community, developers and planning officers to incorporate sustainable design initiatives into both residential and commercial developments.
- Council subscribes to the Built Environment Sustainability Scorecard (BESS) Tool to support environmentally sustainable design outcomes in the planning scheme. Planning applicants can use BESS to demonstrate how a proposed development will incorporate environmentally sustainable design.
- Council is pursuing a comprehensive Vegetation Strategy of the whole municipality. This acknowledges how critically important local flora and fauna are to preserving our natural environment and responding to climate change. Among other things, the Strategy will seek to incorporate stronger planning controls to protect vegetation and habitat corridors. See further information on the development of the Vegetation Strategy.
Council’s Sustainability Activities Report describes actions undertaken to improve social, economic and environmental sustainability in Maroondah. This document can be found as part of the Maroondah Sustainability Strategy.
Facts and figures
- Around 7,000 Maroondah households have solar photovoltaic panels that generate clean electricity (March 2017)
- Since 2018/19 10 solar photovoltaic systems have been installed on Council buildings to a 850kW total system size. This has an estimated annual generation of 1.1 GWh and equates to approx. a 1,300 T CO2-e greenhouse gas emissions reduction
- In recent years Council has been pursuing Energy Performance Contracts for its buildings and assets. This has resulted in a total estimated savings of 907 T CO2-e. The upgrades have included some solar installations, LED lighting, pool blankets, boiler and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) upgrades.
- Council has rolled out the Solar Savers program. This has incorporated the installation of 19 systems with Council contributing $50,000. The program has been targeted at vulnerable households.
- Council has supported an energy efficient street light project. Between March 2015 and October 2018, 5,390 high-performance and energy efficient LED street lights were installed across the municipality. When compared to the 80-watt mercury vapour lights they replaced, these new lights perform better, last longer and are more than twice as efficient. This project has significantly reduced Council street lighting greenhouse emissions and costs. The project has reduced associated energy consumption and associated costs by around 77%, and is set to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by around 15,411 tonnes over 20 years. This is equivalent to removing 339 cars from the road each year for the next 20 years.
- Climate change projections for Melbourne's east indicate our future will be hotter and drier.
- Contact Maroondah City Council’s Sustainability Team on 1300 88 22 33.