One of the five strategic objectives adopted by Council in the 2013-2017 Council Plan is to promote a ‘Sustainable Environment and a Vibrant Economy’.
Through balanced and progressive programs and processes (Sustainable Development) will encourage development that promotes economic diversity and prosperity while enhancing and preserving the natural and built environment of all Hepburn Shire.
Hepburn Shire Council’s Sustainability Direction
Council aims to promote and encourage sustainable and efficient use of resources including water and energy to reduce its’ everyday environmental impact, benefiting the community, environment and economy. Reducing reliance on fossils fuels and the resultant greenhouse gas emissions, through the uptake of renewable energy alternatives will minimise our climate change impacts.
Environmental Sustainability Strategy
The Environmental Sustainability Strategy 2011-2015 sets out to document the principles, markers and actions we can take to become more sustainable in our Council operations and provision of services to the community we serve. The strategy was officially launched on 1 May 2012.
Council's Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Council’s operations result in almost 2,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually. Council is taking the lead in reducing its own emissions.
This helps us to promote and encourage sustainable and efficient use of resources. Between 2012-13 and 2013-14, we reduced our emissions by 8%.
Council is taking steps to reduce our emissions further and in the last 12 months has introduced three initiatives that will reduce our emissions by 26%.
Greenhouse Gas Reduction Projects
Council has a number of projects and activities aimed to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions, and ongoing operating costs
Environmental Sustainable Building Design
Council will incorporate Environmental Sustainable Design principles in the construction of the Trentham, Creswick and Hepburn Hubs. Improved building thermal performance and efficient heating/cooling systems, lighting and appliances, will ensure energy usage and resources are minimised.
During 2013, Council has improved the thermal performance and comfort levels of Council offices at the Daylesford Town Hall by extensive draught proofing of doors and windows.
Council Streetlight Conversion to LED’s
With the assistance of the Federal Government’s Community Energy Efficiency Program, Council has participated in Australia’s largest streetlight upgrade project. This is a partnership with 16 other Council in North West Victoria and Powercor. Approximately 600 unmetered streetlights, which are the responsibility of Council, have been replaced with energy efficient LED lights. This will substantially reduce Council’s greenhouse gas emissions, have a marked impact on energy and maintenance costs, improve lighting quality and community amenity.
Fleet Conversion to Bio-diesel
Council will upgrade fuel storage facilities at Council depots to enable our heavy vehicle fleet to operate on B20 Bio-diesel. This will reduce our reliance on the fossil fuels, reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, without impacting of fleet performance or maintenance.
Bio-energy from Waste
Council has conducted a high-level feasibility study on the viability of using green waste as a renewable energy source for Council and major energy users with Hepburn Shire. The study has found that there is a good match between the supply of bio-energy feedstock and demand for energy for heating purposes within the Shire. Existing technology is available to produce energy from bio-mass, however a viable business case is dependant upon the assistance of external funding sources, together with increased natural gas and LPG prices.
Further details can be found in: Bio-energy from Waste Feasibility Study
Council will be conducting further investigation on the technology and viability of identified bio-energy solutions.
Other Council Programs
The ECO-Buy program supports local governments in protecting and enhancing the environment by encouraging the increased demand for, and use of environmentally preferred products and services.
As a member of ECO-Buy, Hepburn Shire is able to access information on recycled content goods and local suppliers, implementing sustainable products into everyday operations.
Community Sustainability Grants
Council offers Sustainability grants to community groups annually in September. Grants range from $2,500 to $5,000 and are available for projects with an emphasis on energy efficiency, water conservation, biodiversity or sustainability behaviour change and educational purposes.
Further details will be available on this website at the opening of the next grant round.
Are you planning renovations, then you should visit Sustainability Victoria’s Smarter Renovations Planner online tool.
The tool will show you how you can incorporate energy efficiency ideas in you home to reduce energy costs and make you home more comfortable all year round.
Energy efficient appliances will save you money over the lifetime of the appliance compared to standard models. Sustainability Victoria’s Smarter Choice Retail Program exists – to help you make better choices when buying new appliances, hardware and lighting.