Feature articles > Media

Councils accelerate energy savings with CEFC finance

Energy efficiency and local government 

Article for LG Focus, May 2015

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) is helping local councils with finance to accelerate energy saving innovations.

From street lighting to solar PV, building upgrades and landfill gas management, the CEFC has finance available that can help councils realise operating and energy cost savings.

CEFC CEO Oliver Yates said councils facing increased cost pressures and capital constraints could offset these by tapping into significant energy and operational cost savings from projects such as upgrading street lighting and buildings. 

"Our finance is helping councils improve their operations and asset base while cutting carbon emissions and providing long-term benefits for their communities," Mr Yates said.

"Local governments play a critical leadership role for their communities and we're pleased to be helping them demonstrate how energy efficient technologies and solar can future-proof council infrastructure against energy and operating cost increases while delivering on their sustainability commitments."

Jillian Broadbent AO)
Tumut Shire Council building

CEFC finance helped accelerate the following projects:

  • Warrnambool City Council replaced 2000 residential street lights with LED technology which is forecast to reduce lighting operation and maintenance costs by nearly 70 per cent.
  • Tumut Shire Council in NSW reduced its administration building's energy costs by more than 2/3 with solar PV, an upgraded air-conditioning system using ground source heat pump and energy efficient lighting.  (UPDATE: Tumut Shire Council is now part of the Snowy Valleys Council established in May 2016).
  • Central Goldfields Shire Council installed solar PV and upgraded lighting and controls to lower its resource centre's energy costs by 15 per cent.
  • Wagga Wagga City Council installed a cogeneration unit that is halving the energy costs of its Oasis Aquatic Centre.
  • Western Australia's first municipal waste-to-gas project at Boodarie by New Energy which will harnesses landfill waste. 

The CEFC and Commonwealth Bank's joint initiative, the Energy Efficient Loan has up to $100 million in finance available for council projects that help lower energy costs. The CEFC also works with other financiers to deliver energy saving and renewable energy projects to the local government sector.