Australia’s Clean Finance Corporation will be financing the City of Melbourne’s next phase of boosting its use of solar power, reducing emissions and saving on electricity costs.
The CEFC will provide up to $30 million for the energy efficiency initiative.
$14.8 million will go towards fast-tracking the upgrade of 16,000 public lights to use electricity-sipping LED’s that will use 56% less power than existing lights. This aspect alone will save the City approximately $1 million a year on electricity bills.
Approximately $10 million will to go towards the Sustainable Melbourne Fund (SMF) for financing Environmental Upgrade Agreements (EUAs) to retrofit commercial properties in order to reduce energy use, lower emissions and/or reduce water consumption.
The EUA is a loan contract between commercial property owner, bank and City of Melbourne. The loan repayment is collected by the City of Melbourne via rates and the City then remits the loan repayment to the financial institution involved.
$800,000 of CEFC finance will also go to completing the installation of 300kW of rooftop solar panels on Council and community facilities.
Another $4.4 million will be used for other sustainability initiatives; the nature of which will be based on the outcomes of a five year Council emission reduction plan.
“Like households across Australia, we understand the savings that can be generated from switching to energy efficient lights and installing solar,” said Chair of the City of Melbourne’s Environment Portfolio, Cr Arron Wood.
“The emissions saved each year through the upgrade of our public lighting network and the installation of solar panels will be equivalent to taking almost 2,800 cars off Melbourne’s roads for a year or planting more than 13,300 trees.”
The City of Melbourne has been working to become one of the world’s most sustainable cities for the last 15 years and has a goal to be carbon neutral by 2020.
“The City of Melbourne is at the forefront of Australian councils taking proactive steps to reduce carbon emissions,” said Oliver Yates, CEO of the CEFC.
“We’re keen to support other councils become more sustainable and deliver the flow on benefits of energy efficiency and renewable energy to ratepayers.”
The CEFC has so far committed more than $1.4 billion in finance for clean energy projects valued at over $3.5 billion. The CEFC does not provide money for nothing – its 55+ direct investments and dozens of projects it has co-financed are expected to achieve a net positive return.