How Cumberland is reducing energy and water use
Reducing energy and water use across the Local Government Area helps the environment and cuts costs for residents and businesses.
How Council is saving water and energy
- Installing solar power systems across many of its facilities
- Participating in the Light Years Ahead project – which is replacing approximately 13,000 high emission mercury vapour street lights with low emission LED or equivalent lights [Link to https://lightyearsahead.com.au/]
- The installation of energy efficient lighting and HVAC in Council administration buildings, childcare centres, libraries, community centres and CBD car parks
- The replacement of car park lighting with over 500 LED lights with motion sensors, resulting in a reduction in energy usage of 60%
- The installation of 21 energy efficient hot water systems (solar and heat pump) across 12 park amenities blocks, youth centres, community centres, function centres and administration building
- The installation of 100kW of solar panel systems on youth centres, libraries, function centres, children’s centres and community centres
- The replacement of 940 old mercury vapour streetlights with energy efficient LEDs
The establishment of an internal innovation and efficiency team to steer projects and investigate opportunities
Cities Power Partnership
Cumberland Council is a participant of the Cities Power Partnership.This is Australia’s largest local government climate network. It is made up of over 100 councils from across the country and represents almost 11 million Australians.
Local councils who join the partnership make 5 action pledges in either renewable energy, efficiency, transport or working in partnership to tackle climate change.
Cumberland Council has pledged to:
- Install renewable energy (solar PV and battery storage) on Council buildings – such as childcare facilities, libraries, street lighting, recreation centres, sports grounds and Council offices
- Roll out energy efficient lighting (particularly street lighting) across the municipality – as public lighting can use a large proportion of a city’s energy budget
- Support local community energy groups with their community energy initiatives
- Adopt best practice energy efficiency measures across all Council buildings and support community facilities to adopt these measures
Create a revolving green energy fund to finance energy efficiency projects and create savings
Energy Savings Action Plan
In 2018, Council undertook a comprehensive review of its energy use at 12 of its key facilities.
The purpose of the Energy Savings Action Plan 2018-2022 is to find opportunities for energy savings at the selected sites and facilities.
This plan identifies energy costs and consumption, provides details of energy use patterns and includes findings and energy saving recommendations for key Council sites.
Light Years Ahead Project
Western Sydney’s first Light Years Ahead street lighting project was completed between 2014 and 2016, as a result of funding from the Australian Government.
Over 2 years, 14, 941 end-of-life mercury vapour streetlights were replaced with efficient LED lights across 136 suburbs.
The project was delivered on time, on budget, and far exceeded the project target of changing 12,770 mercury vapour lights to LEDs.
Over the next 20 years the project is expected to save councils $20 million in energy bills and prevent 91,000 tonnes of carbon emissions.
How to reduce energy consumption at home
- Use energy-efficient light bulbs – they last up to 10 times longer and use 80% less energy
- Turn off lights when you leave a room
- Turn appliances off at the wall when not in use
- Insulate your roof and ceiling and save 20 to 40% on heating and cooling costs
- Wear warmer clothes inside in winter so you don't need the heater as much
Use draft excluders (door snakes) and rugs to keep your house warm
When Sydney region experiences long dry periods, everyone needs to reduce water consumption to make sure there is enough water to go around.
In general, gardens account for the largest proportion of water use. By planting drought-proof plants native to the Cumberland area, and drought tolerant grasses, you can greatly reduce your garden's water consumption.
Learn how to be water wise in your house at Sydney Water.
Water Savings Action Plan
Cumberland Council’s Water Efficiency Plan aims to improve water efficiency across Council’s facilities and assets. The Plan reviews water usage at key sites and looks at more opportunities to reduce water consumption.
How to reduce water use at home
- Turn off the tap while cleaning teeth, shaving or peeling vegetables.
- Take shorter showers.
- Make sure you have a full load before you put on the washing machine or dishwasher.
- Use water-saving devices (such as aerators) that attach to taps. These are available at hardware stores.
- Reduce the water used by the toilet: Place a brick or toilet flusher saver (available at hardware stores) inside the toilet cistern.
- Water early in the morning or late in the afternoon. If you water in the middle of the day the sun will evaporate most of the water before the plants receive it.
- Water near the roots of plants, for longer and less often.
- Mulch around your plants to prevent moisture loss, with pebbles, woodchips or grass clippings.
Install a rainwater tank so this can be used to flush your toilet and water your garden.
For more information contact Council on (02) 8757 9000.