Greater Bendigo celebrates a year of emission reductions and cost savings through energy collaboration
Over the past 12 months the City of Greater Bendigo is one of 51 Victorian councils to have slashed their energy bills and reduced emissions through the Victorian Energy Collaboration (VECO) joint renewable electricity contract – Australia’s largest ever emissions reduction project by local government.
Approximately 172,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions have been saved by Victorian Councils in the first 12 months, which is equivalent to powering up to 35,000 homes or taking 66,000 cars off the road each year. And the long-term contract with Red Energy will continue to protect Victorian councils from record high wholesale prices in the coming years and help to increase the stability of the State’s energy system.
City of Greater Bendigo Mayor Cr Andrea Metcalf said the collective investment in Victorian renewables has delivered electricity 25 per cent cheaper over the first 12 months.
“VECO has saved the City of Greater Bendigo on electricity costs and reduced greenhouse gas emissions which means the savings are able to be redirected to other critical community services provided by the City,” Cr Metcalf said.
“An example of this is the cost of electricity at the City’s largest energy using site, Gurri Wanyarra Wellbeing Centre in Kangaroo Flat, which has been reduced by 19 per cent whilst avoiding 2,000 tonnes of carbon emissions. The cost savings include both electricity and supply and service charges.
“The project is helping deliver on the City’s climate commitment to achieve zero carbon emissions by 2030, in line with the City of Greater Bendigo Climate Change and Environment Strategy 2021-2026.
“The City’s operations are now powered by 100 per cent renewable electricity including streetlights, libraries, leisure centres and electric vehicles which is essential in achieving our goal of zero net council emissions by 2030.
“The project is showing the value of collaboration in local government and the first year of VECO has delivered beyond our expectations for cost decreases and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
“Effective collaboration has enabled us to deliver stronger climate action, while supporting the Victorian economy, the renewable energy transition, and allowing our ratepayers’ dollars to go further.”
VECO was initiated by and facilitated with the Victorian Greenhouse Alliances and is now led by Glen Eira City Council.
Owned by Snowy Hydro, Red Energy is a 100 per cent Australian-owned and operated energy retailer based in Melbourne.
The renewable energy is being provided by energy generation assets including two wind farms in Victoria.