Council’s Response to Climate Change
With broad community support, Council declared a Climate Emergency in November 2019. In December an additional staff position was created, dedicated to climate change. In order to act in a manageable, efficient and transparent way, it was considered the best approach would be to develop a Climate Change Action Plan. The plan would outline actions for Council to consider with options assessed against economic, environmental, social and governance outcomes.
In July, 2020, Council resolved the following:
- Council set a target for Council operations of zero net emissions by 2030
- Council set an aspirational target for the community of zero net emissions by 2040
Since then, Council has developed a Climate Action Plan – Mitigation Strategy with the help of internal and external stakeholder engagement.
It is important to provide consistency with Council’s existing environmental and MOSPLAN framework and the Climate Action Plan – Mitigation Strategy was developed under these guidelines.
A draft Climate Action Plan – Mitigation Strategy went out for public consultation in December 2020, and after modification in response to feedback was approved by Council on 6 April 2021. The Climate Action Plan – Mitigation Strategy, whilst comprehensive, does not list every sustainability action Council is undertaking. Council undertakes many sustainability actions and has done so for many years and to list them all is not considered necessary for the purpose of this document.
The Plan’s focus is on those actions (starting with high priority actions) that will directly mitigate carbon emissions with some obvious cross over to resilience and adaptation benefits. Therefore, the Plan as presented is considered a suitable first iteration to demonstrate Council’s mitigation work towards its net zero carbon target for Council operations and demonstrates that Council will focus work with its community to achieve same. Further the Plan is to be updated as new technologies arise and new projects are developed.
Council is also currently finalising a further document, its Climate Action Plan – Resilience and Adaptation Strategy. A draft will be publicly exhibited later this year.
Council is driving forward emissions mitigation projects to help reduce its and the communities impact on climate change.
Four projects are already in place – the Marie Bashir Sports Centre solar array, the Electric Vehicle Fast Charger, residential Streetlight Acceleration program and two installations through the Solar My School programme.
The Marie Bashir Sports Centre has a new 52 kilowatt solar array. Total energy production since installation in May, 2020 to May 2021 is 74 Megawatts.
Council installed a 50 kilowatt fast charger for Electric Vehicles into Mosman central which is being well utilised by the community. All energy supplied is through a renewable energy provider.
Mosman‘s street lights are being upgraded by Ausgrid to LEDs. The new lights will save 75% of energy costs and reduce carbon emissions by 200 tonnes per year.
The Solar My Schools project has successfully advised and supported Mosman Public Primary School and Beauty Point Primary School to install large solar arrays and reduce emissions and power bills. Mosman Public has a 50 kW array, and Beauty Point has a 36 kW array.
Council will be progressing further mitigation projects in the 2021/22 financial year and these are listed in the recently adopted Climate Action Plan – Mitigation Strategy.
Marie Bashir Sports Centre Solar Installation Project
In 2020, the Marie Bashir Sports Centre has a new 52 kilowatt solar installation system put onto the roof. Producing an estimated 7339 kWh per year, the solar array generates enough wattage to significantly lower CO2 consumption at the Sports Centre.
Electric Vehicle Fast Charging Station
Mosman Council has installed Sydney’s first Council owned Electric Vehicle Fast Charger in the carpark behind the Council Chambers. Electric vehicle infrastructure is being put in throughout NSW and the number of EVs in Mosman is increasing rapidly. Mosman’s 50 kilowatt Fast Charger is powered by 100% renewable energy making enormous reductions in the cost and pollution for resident’s energy consumption.
An average sedan in Mosman does 15,000 km/ year
- Oil: $231.40
- Electric: $129.78
- Oil: 24.87
- Electric: 3.99
EV ownership in Mosman is increasing steadily. With better city wide infrastructure Electric Vehicles are more viable.
Ausgrid LED lighting
The conversion of Mosman’s street lights to LED is on track for completion by 30 June 2021. The Ausgrid-funded program, which includes changing 700 existing 50W and 80W street lights to 17W lights, will reduce Council’s energy costs by 75 per cent and save about 200 tonnes of carbon emissions a year.
Solar My Schools Projects
Mosman Council has supported Schools in the LGA to install solar through the Solar My Schools programme. Mosman Public Primary School has put in a 50 kW solar array, and Beauty Point Primary School has a 36 kW solar array, both significantly lowering electricity costs and carbon emissions.
What is the Apartments & Strata Savings Program?
The aim of the program is to improve sustainability while reducing the cost of living & GHG pollution.
Annual strata fee reduction is a major focus, because the savings potential with energy upgrades is typically a good investment. So analysis will be on the numerous opportunities in common areas.
Often owners don‘t realise how much energy and money is being wasted in the hidden areas and equipment of buildings, so a report by specialists will clearly quantify that, and make recommendations for the owners corporation to follow up on.
Approving upgrades will be easier than many people realise with the forthcoming passage of the NSW Government‘s Strata Schemes Management Amendment (Sustainability Infrastructure) Bill. This will lower the bar from previously needing a special resolution (75% threshold) to an ordinary resolution (50% threshold) for any sustainability upgrades to proceed in a residential strata scheme.
When the options are clearly illustrated with a good report, the thinking becomes… why wouldn‘t we upgrade, given the financial benefits!
2020-2021 Program Rollout – round 2
Free Apartment Assessment – Expressions of Interest are open
The program offers – at no cost:
- Energy assessments performed by industry specialists.
- Detailed reports which will clearly illustrate the financial case for upgrades.
- Phone support at strata meetings if requested to help communicate benefits of building upgrades.
- General support.
The scheme offers sustainability assessments and reports to larger strata schemes and aged care facilities.
Did you know?
- Most apartment buildings will benefit with efficiency upgrades in common areas.
- Around 51.7% of local residents live in apartments in Mosman.
- Renewable heat and electricity can both replace imported grid gas and electricity.
- Renewable heat is perfect in shady areas, at night, or if cloudy, unlike solar electricity, and can provide space heating and domestic water heating.
Energy Cost savings
- LED Lighting
- Solar electricity – solar panels for rooftops and walls.
- Renewable heat from the sun – for space heating and water heating.
- Energy efficiency – why waste energy?
- Often upgrades offer investment opportunities with an internal rate of return (IRR) between 15-50% 1, which will likely be one of the best investment returns you’ll ever make.
- Simple payback periods are commonly as short as 2 years.
1 Based on recent upgrades.