Revolving Sustainability Fund
Cost savings from Council’s energy-efficiency initiatives are now reinvested in sustainability projects following Council’s adoption of a Revolving Sustainability Fund (RSF) Policy on 9 June 2021.
The RSF will ensure future cost savings are reinvested into the delivery of new sustainability projects, guaranteeing further savings and environmental benefits to Council and the community. Cost savings from delivered sustainability projects will be transferred into the RSF for a period of three years after the project’s completion.
Over the past decade Council has implemented several sustainability projects to combat rising energy costs, including the installation of over 70 solar panel systems on Council and community buildings and the changeover of thousands of streetlights to energy efficient LED lights. It is estimated that Council’s energy efficiency initiatives delivered between 2013 and 2020 have saved Council and ratepayers $1.3 million.
The establishment of the RSF is a key action of Council’s Environmental Sustainability Strategy (2018-2022) and Council’s Environmental Voice Advisory Committee assisted Council in developing the RSF Policy as well as the Fund’s project evaluation tool used for reviewing potential sustainability projects.
The first sustainability projects to have savings secured within the RSF for reinvestment were delivered in the 2020/21 year and include the LED Street Lighting Bulk Changeover program-stage 2, involving the replacement of 1,230 inefficient lights, and the Solar Systems program which involved the installation of solar panels on seven Council buildings. The total cost savings from these two projects is estimated to be $160,000, with the actual savings to be calculated at the end of the 2021/22 financial year.
Sustainability projects proposed for implementation in 2022/23 using funds from the RSF include solar installations at:
1. Memorial Park Public Toilet, Drouin
2. Bellbird Park East Multi Use Pavilion, Drouin
3. Municipal Works Depot, Warragul
4. Senior Citizens Building - 37 Mason Street, Warragul