We’re reducing our carbon emissions through green power

The City of Stonnington is one of forty-six Victorian Councils to sign on to VECO, the Victorian Energy Collaboration, the largest ever emissions reduction project by local government in Australia.

VECO, led by Darebin City Council in Melbourne’s north, will provide 45 per cent of all Victorian Councils’ electricity requirements with 100 per cent renewables, reducing greenhouse emissions by 260,000 tonnes of C02-e every year.

Provided by Red Energy, the 240GWh of clean power is equivalent to powering 48,000 homes with renewables or removing the emissions from 90,000 cars every year.

Initiated by and facilitated with the Victorian Greenhouse Alliances, VECO recognises the benefits of renewable energy for the environment and the economy.

The ground-breaking project will reduce each of the Council’s current energy bills and reduce electricity prices by using clean renewable energy generated right here in Victoria.

City of Stonnington Mayor, Cr Kate Hely, said “On Tuesday we released our bold draft Climate Emergency Action Plan for community feedback that outlines our commitment to cutting Council’s carbon emissions to zero by the end of the decade.

“This commitment with other Councils to purchase 100% renewable energy for all electricity use from 1 July 2021 will be a key part of this, bringing Council’s corporate emissions to 76% below 2005 levels.

“Stonnington has already installed 880kW of rooftop solar – almost 3,000 panels – on Council buildings and facilities. And over 3,800 street lights have been converted to energy-efficient LEDs.

“We’ve also invested millions into reducing our energy use through building efficiency improvements including heating and cooling upgrades, lighting and renewable energy.

Cr Hely added: “This is a key element of our ongoing commitment to renewable energy. We’re not only planning a zero-carbon City of Stonnington, we’re saving money doing it.”

Red Energy will provide 240 GWh of electricity per year to the 46 councils in the VECO purchasing group over a period of 9.5 years, beginning 1 July 2021.

Owned by Snowy Hydro, Red Energy is a 100 per cent Australian owned and operated energy retailer based in Melbourne.

“Given Red Energy is born and bred in Victoria, we are really excited to be a part of a project that is supporting Victorian councils, their ratepayers and two new Victorian wind farms”, said Red Energy CEO Iain Graham.

“Our owner Snowy Hydro has been a leader in renewable generation for decades and Red Energy is delighted to partner with Victorian councils to provide a long-term energy contract that will enable councils to purchase renewable energy at a competitive price”, Mr Graham said.

The renewable energy will be provided by two wind farms in Victoria – Dundonnell wind farm near Mortlake, which started exporting power to the grid in March 2020, and Murra Warra II wind farm near Horsham, which commenced construction September 2020 and will be fully operational by June 2022.

Both wind farms have and will continue to deliver economic benefits to the regions during construction and ongoing operation, and form an important part of state, regional and local economic development.

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