A NEW document has detailed Bathurst Regional Council’s commitment to reducing its dependence on fossil fuels and lowering its electricity consumption.
The department of Environmental, Planning and Building Services has completed its draft Renewable Energy Action Plan (REAP) and it has been placed on public exhibition.
The plan sets out a strategy and action plan to increase the proportion of renewable energy used by council and minimize the dependence on fossil fuel energy sources.
Efficiency measures to reduce council’s electricity consumption and transitioning away from natural gas and liquid fossil fuels are also part of the plan.
By enacting the measures in the plan, council is aiming for 25 per cent of its electricity consumption to be from renewable sources by 2023.
This would increase to 50 per cent by 2025.
The plan also has an electricity efficiency target of 15 per cent compared to 2018-19 electricity consumption of 15,069 megawatt hours.
A number of actions have been identified in the REAP to meet these targets.
The Energy Efficiency Action Plan (2020-2023) includes replacing 5639 streetlights with LED, switching 1000 lights from fluorescent T5 to LED panels at multiple facilities, and having variable speed drivers (VSD) on water pump stations.
These and other actions will achieve the 15 per cent reduction.
To ensure 25 per cent of its electricity consumption will be from renewable sources by 2023, council proposes to install additional solar generating systems and purchase renewable energy through a renewable energy power purchase agreement.
Councillors, including John Fry, praised the REAP.
“I’d like to congratulate council on doing a REAP, which is another step forward towards sustainability and is a significant step in terms of coping with climate change, which is descending on us rapidly,” he said.
People who want to read council’s REAP will be able to access it online and can provide feedback.