The Glen Eira City Council in Victoria has announced that they have purchased two electric vehicles for their fleet. It’s part of their plans to reach zero net corporate emissions by 2025, and zero net community emissions by 2030.
On their website the council says it’s an exciting time for electric vehicles in Australia, with more charging stations and a larger range of models. They have gotten behind the movement to electrify Australian fleets by installing a charging station at Glen Eira Town Hall which uses renewable energy from Town Hall’s solar panels.
Community and staff engagement is an important part of any change so the council is having some fun by naming the vehicles BEV (a Hyundai Ioniq) and Zoe (Renault Zoe).
Glen Eira Mayor Cr Margaret Esakoff stated that the electric vehicles will be used by Council officers throughout the municipality
“The range of 300 kilometres is suited to an urban environment and our operational needs,” she said. “Electrifying our fleet is just one way that we’ll meet our ambitious new target of zero net emissions for Council operations by 2025.”
Here are some of the other key carbon reading projects listed on the council’s website.
Street lighting upgrade
Between 2012 and 2019, we upgraded 6,600 streetlights to energy-efficient T5 fluorescents and LEDs. These upgrades have cut Council’s street lighting energy consumption roughly in half. We’ve saved $2.58M in energy and maintenance costs, and by 2040, cumulative savings will be $19.02M. We’ve also avoided 9,357 tonnes of carbon dioxide. This is equivalent to 2,022 passenger vehicles driven for one year.
Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD)
We’ve included ESD features in many Council buildings to reduce their energy and water consumption. At GESAC, there is an evacuated tube solar hot water system, LED lights, a stormwater harvesting system with a capacity of 200,000 litres and water-efficient toilets, showers and taps. All new capital works projects have an allocated budget of five per cent for ESD features.
Smart street lighting
In an Australian first, we have installed smart photo electric cells on 205 streetlights throughout Glen Eira. These cells can be remotely dimmed, allowing us to decrease our electricity use and carbon emissions. The trial halved electricity use.
We’ve installed solar photovoltaic systems on 50 Council buildings. These systems have a total capacity of 949,516 kilowatt hours. That’s enough to power 114 homes for one year.
LED lighting upgrades have been carried out at many Council buildings. LEDs are the most efficient form of lighting and last much longer than other forms of lighting.
Since 2016, we’ve purchased 1.9 million kilowatt hours of GreenPower each year. Not only has GreenPower reduced Council’s carbon emissions, it also helps to develop new infrastructure in the renewable energy sector.
Use of recycled concrete
Recycled concrete is used in road and pavement bases and backfill in drainage trenches. This reduces our carbon emissions, use of virgin materials and the amount of building waste going to landfill.
We plant at least 1,000 trees each year. Trees cool the air and so reduce the urban heat island effect; reduce storm water run-off by allowing rainfall to infiltrate into the ground; absorb air pollution; provide habitat for birds, mammals and insects; reduce wind speeds during storm events and absorb up to 150kg of carbon dioxide per year.
We’ve created a Classified Tree Register and local law to protect our most valuable and important trees.
Local communities often can’t easily reduce their environmental impact on their own and local government has limited options to solve these problems. We advocate for changes in state and federal policy such as better public transport, higher standards for buildings to help reduce energy consumption and new generation waste and recycling facilities for the region. We undertake our own advocacy as well as through the Eastern Alliance for Greenhouse Action (EAGA) and the Inner South-East Metropolitan Partnership’s Regional Sustainability Advocacy Strategy.
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