There are a range of energy savings programs available in Baw Baw Shire.
Baw Baw Shire Council has donated a number of Home Energy Self-Assessment kits to the local library. These kits are available for loan through the usual loan service and come with everything required to conduct an energy assessment of your home (including instructions). Please go to the Warragul Regional Library Corporation website for more information about loaning a kit.
Bellbird Park Recreation Reserve will never receive an electricity bill for its car park lights after new solar public lights were installed in September 2010. It’s expected the four lights, which use the latest in light-emitting diode (LED) lighting and solar technology, will save about 3.1 tonnes of greenhouse gas pollution or 3.1 million black balloons each year. The project, including lights and installation, cost about $16,600.
While conventional lighting is approximately 25 per cent cheaper to buy and install, solar LED lights like these cost less over the lifetime of the light because there are no ongoing electricity bills. The solar LED lights are connected to a battery which is charged by a solar panel. This results in no ongoing electricity bills. They’re also completely independent from the electricity grid which means if there is a power outage the solar LED lights will still function. The new lights have a lamp life of about 50,000 hours and are glare free. They’re expected to save 78 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions over the 25-year life of the lights.
A five kilowatt (kwh) solar power system was installed at the Drouin Library in March 2009. The system, which sits on the Library’s roof top and is visible from Princes Way, will generate 3,000 Kwh per year – saving over 190,000 black balloons of greenhouse gas each year or equivalent to the savings emissions of three cars.
Baw Baw Shire Council adopted the public lighting strategy in April 2013. One of the actions in the strategy was to improve the efficiency of street lighting and seek funding opportunities for public lighting and sustainability.
Council currently implementing a changeover of streets light to move from the current 80 watts mercury vapour street lights to energy efficient lights. Upgrading the street lighting with energy efficient lights will reduce about 65 per cent in energy and maintenance costs per annum.
For more information about the program and its benefits, see the Fact Sheet: Sustainable Street Lighting Upgrade Program.